The English government at work, 1327-1336, Vol. 3 dj52w5391

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The English government at work, 1327-1336, Vol. 3

Table of contents :
PREFACE (page v)
INTRODUCTION (William Huse Dunham, Jr., Yale University, page ix)
I MANORS AND TEMPORALITIES (Warren O. Ault, Boston University, page 3)
II ROYALS MINTS AND EXCHANGES (Alice Beardwood, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, page 35)
III MINES AND STANNARIES (L.F. Salzman, Institute of Historical Research, London, page 67)
IV BOROUGHS (the late Erwin T. Meyer, University of Colorado, page 105)
V SHIRE OFFICIALS: CORONERS, CONSTABLES, AND BAILIFFS (Helen M. Cam, Harvard University, page 143)
VII JUSTICES OF ASSIZE (Mary Margaret Taylor, Wheaton, Illinois, page 219)
VIII THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS (the late N. Neilson, Mount Holyoke College, page 259)

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James F. WiLLarp

WitiiaM A. Morris and

Wiriiam H. DunuaM, Jp.





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 Societies.



— 19350

0910956308 —



Aneinterruptions depression and a world war, with their consequent of academic life, are partly responsible for the inordinate delay in publishing The English Government at Work. ‘The third volume has passed through the hands of three successive editors, and this has not expedited its publication. The first editor, James F. Willard, who designed the project, read and edited Miss Beardwood’s chapter on the mints, the only one written in time to receive his personal attention. His successor, William A. Morris, read the other chapters and sent his suggestions to the authors. He revised extensively the late Erwin T. Meyer’s account of the boroughs and added, as is noted below, several paragraphs of his own. Morris also went over Miss Neilson’s essay on the court of common pleas, but in 1946 she herself made the final revision. As the last editor, I have taken the liberty of transferring several pages of statistical data from the beginning of her chapter, as indicated in a footnote, to an appendix, Otherwise, I have adhered conscientiously to the admonition Freeman gave to Sir Francis Palgrave’s son about publishing his father’s posthumous volumes:

‘I hope that you will publish this, and every word which your father left behind him, as he left it, neither adding, omitting, nor altering, save plain slips of pen or press... . Let everything go out, as he left it, in its strength and in its weakness .. .1

Fortunately for me, the surviving authors read their own proof, and I thank them for their help and above all for their patience in waiting out the project to its fulfillment. Doubtless each felt, on seeing the proof after the lapse of so many years, as did Professor Cam, who wrote, “My fifteen year

old child is quite a stranger!’ The stylistic chaos that only the caprice of eight authors and three editors can create was brought to order by Mr VanCourtlandt Elliott. In seeing the work through the press, he has handled the copy with a rare efficiency and the authors with tact; and to him we owe, quite literally, the proverbial tribute, ‘without whom

this book...’

Three of the chapters originally proposed for the third volume—on the king’s bench, castles, and the exchequer of pleas—were perforce abandoned. This explains, in part, the incomplete and miscellaneous appearance of the 599.305 R. W. Stephens, The Life and Letters of Edward A. Freeman (London, 1895), I, Vv

vi Preface volume which was intended to comprehend the whole administration of justice. So instead of the prescribed introduction which was supposed to describe the interrelations of the various judicial agencies, I have substituted a brief description of Willard’s original plan. This is drawn from conversations with him in 1931 and from the directions he drew up to guide the collaborators. The plan itself and the resulting three volumes now seem, after

twenty years have passed, to exemplify a kind of scholarship which has been a by no means unimportant contribution to English medieval historiography. WituiamM Huse DunHaAM, Jr.

New Haven, Connecticut 7 May 1950


PREFACE . . , . , , . , . . . , , V

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . , . 1x by William Huse Dunham, Jr.. Yale University. I

MANORS AND TEMPORALITIES . . . , . . . 3-34 by Warren O. Ault, Boston University. Escheats and Forfeitures, 3-4, the Keepers, 4-8; the Commissions: lay fees, 8-10; temporalities, 10-13; the Keeper’s Functions, 13-17; Keepers accountable at the Exchequer: lay fees, 17-23; temporalities, 23-34.


ROYAL MINTS AND EXCHANGES _. . . . . . . 35-66 by Alice Beardwood, Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

The Terms Mint and Exchange, 35-36; Location of the Mints, 36-38; the Staff and their Duties, 38-47; the Silver used in Coinage, 47-50; the Warden’s Accounts, 50-53; Contraband Money and Plate, 53-55; the Exchanges, 55-58; Appendix: Lists of Officials and Tables of Coinage, 59-66.


MINES AND STANNARIES . . . . . . . . . 67-104 by L. F. Salzman, Institute of Historical Research, London. Mining Interests of the Crown, 67-68; Administration and Operation of the Silver-Lead Mines, 68-71; the Working Staff, 71-75; the Processes of Mining, 75-78; Output and Revenue, 78-88; the Stannaries, 88-92; Coinage, 92-95; Keepers of the Stannaries: Devon, 95-97; Cornwall, 97-99; Assignments on the Coinage, 99-102; Annual Renders, 102-104.


BOROUGHS . . . . . . . . . . . , . 105-141 by the late Erwin T. Meyer, University of Colorado. The Borough and Royal Administration, 105-113; Royal Administrative Functions as performed by Boroughs, 113-122; Representa-

tive Functions, 122-125; Military Affairs, 125-127; Justice, Law and Order, 127-132; Domestic and Foreign Trade, 132-139; Miscellaneous Functions, 139-140; Conclusion, 140-141. Vil

Vill Contents V SHIRE OFFICIALS: CORONERS, CONSTABLES, AND BAILIFFS . 143-183 By Helen M. Cam, Harvard University. Officials of the Liberties, 144-149; the Coroners: Appointment and Removal, 149-153; Relations with the central administrative system, 153-155; with the sheriff, 155-157; Duties and Activities, 157-165; the Sheriff’s Subordinates: Constables, 165-171; Bailiffs itinerant, 171-174; Hundred Bailiffs, 174-181; the lesser Officials of the hundred: sub-bailiffs, clerks, bedels, etc., 181-183.


SHIRE OFFICIALS: KEEPERS OF THE PEACE AND JUSTICES OF THE PEACE . . . . . . . . . . , . . 185-217 by Bertha Haven Putnam, Mt. Holyoke College. The Problem of Sources, 185-187, Experiments in keeping the peace, 187-196; Proceedings before Commissions: commissions of trailbaston, 196-198; the general eyre, 198-199; commissions of oyer and terminer, 199-200; Keepers of counties, 200-201; Commissions for suspects, 201-202; Organization and control of the keepers, 202-207; the King’s Bench as a superior eyre, 207-211; Differences in Kinds of Commissions, 211-217. VII

JUSTICES OF ASSIZE . . . . . . . . . . 219-257 by Mary Margaret Taylor, Wheaton, Illinois. Powers of the Justices, 219-222; Records and Rolls, 222-225; Commissions and Qualifications: commissions, 225-231; personnel, 231234; places and dates of sessions, 234-237; Justices of Assize under other Commissions: gaol delivery, 237-240; nisi prius,, 240-241; oyer

and terminer, 241-242; incidental jurisdiction and value, 242-245; Conclusion, 245-247; Appendices: I, General Commissions of Assize, 248-252; II, Places and Dates of Sessions, 252-257.


THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS _. . . . . . . 259-285 by the late N. Neilson, Mount Holyoke College. Records of the Court, 259-260; Descriptions of the Court, 260-262; Procedure of the Court: Writs and Rolls, 262-266; Cases, 266-271; Analysis of the Roll of Hilary Term, 1332, 271-278; Appendix: Officers of the Court, 279-285.


BY WittiaM Huse DunuaM, Jr. Willard’s Plan

Teebrings third volume of The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 to a conclusion the cooperative history begun about 1930 by James F. Willard. When Willard enlisted the aid of over twenty historians, each an expert, or in the way of becoming an expert, on a particular branch of England’s medieval government, he got together men and women representing a generation, perhaps even a school, of medievalists. With his natural big-heartedness and warm cordiality, he invited scholars, young and

old, the unknown along with the eminent, to be his collaborators. The chapters which they have written reflect common attitudes, similar points of view, and like techniques, all characteristic of Anglo-American historical research during the period 1920-1940. ‘The interests prevalent in 1930, it is true, inevitably worked to determine the form in which the project was cast; but in its execution, the several contributors also carried forward, at times perhaps to an all too logical conclusion, the grand tradition in English constitutional history, that set by Stubbs, Maitland, and Tout. Even the youngest of us were brought up in that tradition, one which prescribed the use of contemporary documents, a recourse to official records, a lawyer-like assessment of evidence, and a judicious drawing of conclusions. These canons had become the touchstones of the medievalist’s craft and the measure of his workmanship. Accuracy, precision, and completeness supplanted the romantic appeal, the literary elegance, and the swinging narrative of the mid-Victorians—Macaulay, Froude and Freeman—as primary virtues. The young Trevelyan’s heterodox cries for ‘History as Literature’ may have echoed through the corridors of the British Museum and the Record Office, but medievalists spurned romance and roy-

alties for a rather rigid adherence to the rules of the schoolmen. Nor ought we to be condemned too hastily, for now that the sharp line between history (for truth’s sake) and fiction (for the publisher’s) has been blurred a bit, Clio’s gain in allure has not always been without an equivalent loss in

veracity. After all, the virtues of the scholarly tradition, many of which grace The Government at Work, still remain hallmarks of intellectual integrity. For the parliamentary, legal, and administrative approaches to the study of medieval government, Willard substituted his own, the functional. The 1X

X Introduction purpose of his plan was, as he put it, ‘to show just how the English government actually worked in its day-by-day activities.’ T’o do this best, he chose from the otherwise turbulent fourteenth century a quiescent decade. ‘The years 1327-1336 Willard considered a ‘normal’ period, one free from the extraordinary strife that marked Edward II’s reign and from the confusion

and administrative changes that followed upon Edward III’s continental wars. The grand design was, then, to describe the routine procedures in English governance, to show the way in which the king’s servants governed England, and to tell how each of the then multifarious institutions, depart-

ments, or officials actually functioned when they were not subjected to peculiar strains, at a time when practice might be expected to conform to

the rules and theories of medieval administration. | The original plan called for three volumes, two of eight and one of ten | chapters with an introduction in each to synthesize its contents and conclusions. Besides serving to coordinate the chapters, the introductions were to give overall descriptions of the operation of a major part of Edward III’s government and of the interrelations between its several parts. The first volume alone, with its eight chapters and Morris’s introduction, fulfills com-

pletely the prescribed pattern; in the second, but five chapters were completed; and only seven of the ten (plus an additional one) originally proposed for the third volume have been finished. Each volume was intended to treat a broad phase of the process of governing: ‘Central and Prerogative Administration,’ ‘Fiscal Administration,’ and ‘Local Administration and Justice.’

These topics provided the framework within which were assembled monographs on separate departments and on royal and local officials. An analysis of the government’s structure determined the choice of the subjects studied, one that was also limited by the availability of experts—a compro-

mise so often necessary in cooperative histories. Inevitably, the interests and competence of the authors modified Willard’s own pattern of the project, and their points of view may also account for disparities between the chapters. Willard was not unaware of this, and he recommended ‘a poten-

tial greater length for some of the more important monographs, and a roughly corresponding reduction for some of the less important.’ Even if the scholarly interests of the collaborators explain the presence of a few chapters, Willard’s own understanding of history governed his planning of the enterprise in its totality. A memorandum which he drew up for the authors indicates the values and attitudes that dominated his outlook on history. “The aim of the project,’ he declared, was the ‘presentation of the English government at work

Introduction Xl from 1327 to 1336.’ In this straight-forwardness of purpose lies, perhaps, the genius of Willard’s scheme. The plan called for a composite ‘picture of the government at work,’ and he admonished the contributors ‘to emphasize functional treatment of subject and interrelation of departments to the fullest possible extent.’ Here, surely, Willard combined two of the traditions in English historiography so much in the ascendant in 1930: the functional and the factual. Stress upon reality—fact—and upon activity— function—(as against abstract legal principles or political theory) appears in the completed chapters and makes of the authors a band of historians who may be designated functionalists. Willard believed that this emphasis upon function would mark a breaking with the past and would effect a departure from the kind of constitutional history still being written in the 1920’s. He wrote: ‘The special distinction of the work, as embodied in the title, lies not in a description of the institutions, nor yet in a presentation of the genesis or development of these institutions, but in a study of lateral interrelations, influences, and pressures.’

Right here, the project, as Willard conceived of it, was to go beyond the then traditional treatment of constitutional history. This study would supplement those of the geneticists who had sought for, and often found, the origins of institutions; and it would counterbalance the evolutionary histories which had traced institutional growth and change. The twenty years before 1930 had seen MclIlwain’s essay on the evolution of The High Court of Parliament (1910), Poole’s book on the origin of The Exchequer (1912), Baldwin’s story of The King’s Council through three medieval centuries (1913), Haskins’ quest for the Norman antecedents of English institutions (1918), Adams’ Constitutional History (1920), describing a millenium of

governmental growth, and Pollard’s Evolution of Parliament (1922). In contrast, what Willard wanted to find out was just how England’s medieval government worked at a given point in time. He also wanted this history of government, even a dead one like Edward III’s, to be dynamic, and not a statistical study like those the political scientists had been bringing into vogue. He wished for more than a mere description of governmental insti-

tutions in either theory or fact; he desired action and a story of the way England’s medieval government, in its totality, actually operated.* Nor was Willard concerned with the origin or the evolution of a single piece of governmental machinery, like parliament, regardless of its subsequent significance. The quest to ascertain ‘lateral interrelations, influences, and ‘On this aim, Morris wrote (in a letter of 2 September 1938): ‘treatment can, of course, not be more dynamic than records permit, but wherever it is based on actual records of the period rather than on theory it will, I think, fulfill Willard’s injunction.’

Xi Introduction pressures’ during the decade 1327-1336 was a challenge to the evolutionists. Their long suit had been to trace institutions through centuries of England’s history, whereas Willard’s point of view presaged the turn historical research was to take during the next two decades. Then anthropology and sociology were to bring into fashion analytical studies of past societies or

institutions during limited periods of time. |

The spirit in which The Government at Work was first contemplated in 1930 may suggest a band of medievalists in revolt. But to prescribe reform and revolution is always easier than to achieve them; and now we can see that his collaborators, even the youngest, were bound by past historiographical traditions. ‘Influences and pressures’ at any time are more readily

felt and talked about than proved; and for determining such intangibles, es- | pecially in a medieval century, the intuitive method of writing history may be more efficacious than the evidential. To detect imponderables in 1330 is a task more difficult for the historian than to sense them in 1830. Then, governors and even bureaucrats prepared for posterity the necessary evidence by writing and preserving private letters, diaries, and memoirs—the kind of matter, often the only kind, with which to write the true account, the inside story of inter-bureau intrigues and of external pressures. Lateral relations, too, certainly existed in the 1330’s, and formal ones have been traced by means of surviving writs and warrants, but at times a bit obliquely when each office is chaptered into an exclusive monograph. Likewise, the all but anonymous nature of the incumbent of many a governmental post makes it possible to draw only his silhouette; and though the medievalist 1s spared the duty to psychologize his subject, he also has less chance to garb him in flesh and color. Unavoidably, the story of any medieval government in actual operation will remain a tale largely unpersonal. An institutional approach to administrative history was also a consequence of the legalistic point of view towards constitutional history, that begun by Hallam and sanctified by Maitland. The sharp focus that Pollock and Maitland had put upon rules of law and legal principles had been carried over to the study of institutions with a not always felicitous effect. G. B. Adams, for example, with his interest in rights, jurisdictions, and authorities, as well as in origins and evolution, had set a style for abstractionism. Not only did he formalize political and judicial procedures into abstract institutions, but at times a substitution of logic for missing data led him to logical but insubstantial deductions. In consequence, historians came to treat institutions more as “organs through which social life functions’ than as the ways and means by which some men governed others. As an antidote to an excess of abstractionism, scholars began to go in search of new facts,

Introduction XU to get more evidence, and, as Miss Beardwood has demonstrated so admirably in her disclosures about the civil-service families at the mints, to find the missing persons.

This eagerness to seek and find new material was another characteristic

of the historian in 1930. In fixing the length of the chapters, Willard placed a high premium upon ‘the relative newness of the subject matter, at least in so far as the new material bears on the central theme of the project.’ This attitude—a by-product of the zealous search for manuscripts which so animated American scholars in the 1920’s—led not only to discrepancies in the length of the chapters but to the different scales on which the various subjects were to be treated. Willard could calmly write that ‘new material should be preferred to old, except where the retention of old material appears to be essential to fulfilling the aim of the project.’ The constant citation of manuscript sources throughout the three volumes amply attests the literalness with which the collaborators took this working rule; and their success in finding new data may explain why there appears at times an un-

balance in favor of the novel, and even a prejudice against the already known aspects of particular institutions which the authors assume the reader will recall. Recourse to manuscripts, as practiced by Stubbs, and to official documents, as taught by Tout, is perhaps the technique most common to all the

collaborators. Their feverish chase through the British archives to find new material attests the perdurance of Stubbs’ example. But back of Stubbs, who laid open many medieval sources in the nineteen volumes he edited for the Rolls Series, was Froude’s precept put forth in 1855. In his lecture on “The Best Means of Teaching History’ he had proposed the Statutes of the Realm, admittedly ‘a dreary sound,’ as the place to which to turn for a true view of past society and government. There, ‘everything of the greatest importance is to be found,’ for the acts of parliament, as the official records of this high court, contained the ‘contemporary judgments of the sober minds of England.’ Here was evidence for the use of the historian whose ‘duty’ Froude declared to be ‘with the facts.’ In this respect the historian of Tudor England, today happily rehabilitated even at the expense of the ‘scientific’ historians, like Langlois, was the forerunner of Stubbs; and the purple prose of ‘Froude’s great book’ never blinded the bishop to the abundance of manuscript evidence upon which it was built. For his own great book, Stubbs used the statutes and his Select Charters so full of facts. His judicious handling of evidence led Maitland regretfully to remark on what a superb judge the bishop would have made. Nor was Stubbs so engrossed in laws and customs that he forgot the play of politics

X1V Introduction upon institutions, and he was always careful not to divorce the constitution from the structure of society. Despite the pounds of parchment Stubbs had to handle to win his facts, he was, perhaps, fortunate in having enough, but not too many archives accessible. The vast store of official records to which Tout’s great books had called attention in 1928 may have dissuaded

Willard from attempting single-handed a multi-volume work along Victorian lines. Instead, he projected a cooperative history to be done by many expert hands. In so doing, however, he exalted factual accuracy and detail above the structural unity that makes Stubbs’ Constitutional History a classic. With Stubbs, structural history was the story of the creation and re-forming of English society as a body politic which men and politics made

very much alive. His narrative told about men working, and fighting, in the amphitheater of Britain, with side-trips to France and Germany. A central theme, the constitution, articulated his narrative; and despite a preoccupation with the creation and growth of parliament, his story also embraced the rules and principles governing the other institutions that went to make up the wmiversitas regni. Since Stubbs’ three volumes had described the whole of medieval govern-

ment, the succeeding generations of specialists turned their skills to analyz-

ing its parts. During the fifty years following the appearance of Stubbs’ third volume in 1878, single institutions—parliament, chancery, exchequer, wardrobe, chamber, and council—were investigated; each received its own

biography, and monography supplanted synthesis. More and more the professional historian became the expert, and he took pride in being an authority on but a part of the government. In contrast to this practice, Willard’s plan for The English Government at Work would, he hoped, start a return towards integrated, if not total, history; but to attain a structural unity, like Stubbs’, and at the same time to adhere to the new canons of accuracy, precision, and completeness which the bishop himself had set, Willard limited this study of medieval government to ten years; and though the work was allotted to more than twenty experts, twenty years have elapsed before its completion. ‘Their zest for new findings may explain the joy they took in revising, and on occasion refuting, older contentions about fourteenth-century institutions. At times, the worship of thoroughness and precision may have impelled them to make accuracy synonymous with veracity. But none can doubt the validity of their evidence, the judiciousness of their conclusions, or their faithful adherence to the creed of sound and honest history. As the ideals and interests held by historians in 1930 may explain what was included in Willard’s plan and the way it has been executed, so their

Introduction XV blind-spots may account for omissions, several of which today seem curious.

The most conspicuous neglect in a history of the king’s government was, perhaps, to overlook the king himself. Even though regents ruled for Edward III during the first few years of his reign, after 1330, when he became of age, ‘the king not only reigned, he governed.” Inevitably, the king crops up throughout the volumes; but what today seems to have been the most ‘essential factor’ in the medieval constitution, the kingship, was in 1930 all

but forgotten. Then, parliaments and pure democracy were much in vogue, kings were out of fashion, thrones at a discount, and even the powers

behind them were ignored. By 1940, however, Morris had detected this strange oversight, and in editing Volume [ he tried to make amends for this lese majesty. Eight of the eighty pages in his introductory essay went to

‘The Monarch,’ who, however, was never to win for himself a separate chapter. Dr. Chrimes’ cry, uttered in 1936, for a history of the English kingship had been heard, but just barely heeded. Without the throne, there could be no place for the men behind or on it. So statesmen and politicos hardly appear in these volumes save when their policies or machinations impinged upon administration. Politics—policies, decisions, and their execution—were what animated England’s medieval kings, councils, and parliaments, and, as Tout pointed out, even the royal bureaucracies. But in the 1920’s, politics were not quite re-

spectable for Americans, whether scholars or gentlemen, and so were scorned. In the 1930’s, however, economic disturbances directed men’s attention once again to the art of governing, and the chapters of several seemingly conscience-stricken contributors indicate that political history, all too long confused with school-book tedium, was about to catch the profes-

sional historian’s attention. Baldwin tendered a gentle lip-service to it in discussing the role in conciliar affairs of Mortimer, a man hard to ignore; and Prince prefaced his chapter on the army with a four-page ‘Prelude’ about the Scottish campaigns, 1327-1336; but a two-page summary of ‘the major diplomatic questions’ sufficed to introduce Lucas’s meticulous account of the machinery and methods of ‘diplomatic intercourse.’ ‘The point seems evident that The English Government at Work originally was conceived to be a study devoted exclusively to bureaucratic and curial adminis-

tration; and then as each contributor worked on his particular part, he became aware of the absence of an active element—the causal factor in government, politics. But only seldom does political action appear as a motive for changes in the form, structure, or procedures of institutions—despite the appearance in 1920 and 1928 of Tout’s Chapters which did so much to link 1The English Government at Work, I, 139 (James F. Baldwin, “The Council’).

XVI Introduction the growth of the administrative departments with fourteenth-century , politics. Mediavalists, like so many other historians in 1930, were most concerned

with finding out the nature of past institutions, what they were like, and how they worked. So when they wrote about what happened, what the English government actually did, they concentrated less upon the causes than upon the means, upon how men governed more than upon the purposes of government. The exasperating why’s of history they left for another generation of historians, men foolhardy enough to delve into the mysteries or bold enough to hazard rough guesses, governed by insight more than by evidence, about the causes of man’s past conduct. And so in

contrast to the socio-historical studies of the late 1930’s and the

psycho-cultural histories published in the 1940’s—to say nothing of the historio-philosophies with their Weltanschauung—The English Government at Work may now seem an unpretentious departure from orthodoxy, even that of 1930.

Although Willard expected the project to win distinction through the new data it would contain, it also was to have novelty in its limitation to a single decade. Already the evolutionists had offset the importance once attached to cataclysmic events as the chief causes of change in England’s gov-

ernment. For revolution, they had substituted a doctrine of gradualism, but it was sometimes misty and depended too much upon biological analogies instead of historical evidence. Then too, the evolutionists had been in-

clined to skip blithely over day-by-day activities in placid times and to neglect the power of routine to form patterns of governmental procedures and to mold them into established institutions. These routine procedures were what Willard wished to ascertain, and he believed they could be seen most clearly at a time when the English government seemed free from the

presumably abnormal strain of war. The quest for normalcy during the 1920’s, and perhaps the social scientists’ concern for norms and medials, may have prompted the dubious assumption that the decade 1327-1336, or any other, was a normal period. Admittedly, a comparative calm in politics and administration prevailed during King Edward III’s first ten years, but his armies were in Scotland in 1327, 1333, 1334, 1335, and 1336. In civil government, too, the decade showed abnormalities, and, as Miss Putnam points out, the several experiments with keepers of the peace were truly exceptional. However, one of Willard’s purposes in limiting this case study of Edward III’s government at work to a single decade was to afford a glimpse

of historical reality. He hoped that an abundance of detail, produced by

Introduction XV1i meticulous research, would establish the truth. In so deciding, however, he ignored a basic assumption upon which the art, or science, of history has rested—that history’s primary purpose is to recount what men have thought and done through the dimension of time. The restriction of this history to ten years not only embarrassed a few of the authors who had to reinforce

scanty evidence with data drawn from before 1327 and after 1336, but it also precluded a consideration of the long-run consequences of the topics treated. [he desire to investigate intensively a small segment of the Englishman’s past was, perhaps, a natural outcome of that attitude of mind so conspicuous among the literary rebels of the 1920’s and designated ‘realism.’ History, as truth for truth’s sake, led some of us to blast myths and to scrape the gilt from many a pretty legend; but of far greater moment, we came to confuse mere facts with truth and to substitute for reality ‘minute detail.’ We succumbed to what Willa Cather in 1922 called ‘a popular superstition that “realism” asserts itself in the cataloguing of a great number of material objects, in explaining mechanical processes, the methods of operating manufactories and trades, and in minutely and unsparingly describing physical sensations. But is not realism, more than it is anything else, an attitude of mind on the part of the writer toward his material, a vague indication of the sympathy and candour with which he accepts, rather than chooses, his theme?”?

In contrast to the practice of Stubbs, Freeman, or Green, who chose huge subjects—parliament, the nation, the people—matters of importance to Victorians, Willard’s plan posited the thesis that true history’s concern was with things of consequence to those Plantagenets living between 1327

and 1336. In further reaction against the Victorian cult of the heroic as glorified by Macaulay, Froude, and Carlyle, Willard prescribed a fresh consideration of little, if not common, men. And so The Government at W ork has much to say about the persons, named and yet unknown, who ran the king’s mints, who managed the royal mines, who farmed crown lands or kept ecclesiastical temporalities, and who executed the king’s commands

in borough, shire, and hundred. To make history “life-like,” as Miss Neilson put it, resort was had to particular instances, in contrast to general practices, to the way things were done, rather than to why, to the methods of administration more than to the policies and purposes of government.

The citation, in minute detail, of cases actually tried in court produced concreteness, but the over-mighty urge in the 1930’s to ascertain what actually happened six hundred years before created a school of factualists *Willa Cather, On Writing (A. A. Knopf, New York 1949), p. 37.

XVIll Introduction , , who too often trod history’s narrow, crooked lanes instead of the grandes allées. Their faith in facts, if only enough could be found, may have led them to neglect the higher learning, the finding of some supposedly useful meaning in the past, or the reading into it of their own ideas; nonetheless their conviction enabled them to write a firm kind of history, one which may last. Yet in the end, Willard’s greater concern for the processes of governing than for the structure of institutions brought him and his collaborators into

a dilemma. His own desire and instinct to treat of process and function, of lateral inter-relations, influences, and pressures were sound and put him among the avant-gardists of 1930. Even though his contributors accepted his theme and treated it with sympathy and candor, neither they nor he could escape wholly their historiographical heritage embracing genetic,

evolutionary, and structural history. In The English Government at W ork, the past held captive the future; and despite valiant efforts to emanci-

pate their minds, and their pens, from established attitudes towards the medieval government, the authors at times have been unable to avoid ambivalence. A conflict between functional history and structural seems constantly to have harassed the contributors and runs through all three volumes. ‘Though

Willard urged them to avoid the mere ‘description of institutions’ in favor of a ‘functional treatment,’ a complete elimination of structural history was not always possible, nor would it have been desirable. “The mechanical form of the project combines both kinds of history. The word ‘administration’ in the title of each volume, along with Willard’s precepts and admonitions, propounds a functional approach and an organization of the work according to the processes of government; but the internal division by chapters, as their titles attest, is along structural lines—chancery, wardrobe, and council, the court of common pleas, borough, and manor. Yet behind such titles, the original spirit of the enterprise appears. When Miss Putnam discusses ‘Experiments in Keeping the Peace,’ when Mr. Ault tells about ‘Accounting at the Exchequer,’ when Mr. Salzman describes the ‘Processes of Mining,’ and when Miss Cam recounts the coroner’s ‘Relations with the Central Administrative System,’ each can say that he has, in his way, kept faith and has not wandered too far from the plan whose chief lines Willard chalked out. .






Warren O. AULT Escheats and Forfeitures

A. fee held of the king in chief might, at some time or other, fall into the king’s hands. A lay fee might fall to the crown through escheat. If a baron left a minor heir his fee was taken into the king’s hands until the heir came of age. Barons who took the losing side in a political quarrel were likely to lose their lands through forfeiture, the

to its pleasure.

crown entering into possession for a longer or shorter period, according

In the reign of Edward III forfeited lands were especially important. The fall of Isabella and Mortimer, in 1330, was followed by the whole-

sale forfeiture or surrender of their lands. The records of the first ten

years of Edward III contain many references to the lands of Earl Thomas of Lancaster and his followers and to the estates of the Despencers, though the misfortunes of those great barons were events of the previous reign.

Minorities, also, were numerous in this period. Sometimes important estates were involved, like those of Bartholemew of Badlesmere, Robert fitz Walter, and Henry de Percy. Usually however the fees were small, though larger for the most part than the ‘messuage, a carucate of land, an acre of meadow, 32 s. of rent, and a pasture for 250 sheep’ which was the entire estate of one crown ward.* Occasionally a fee was taken into the king’s hands because the tenant was an idiot. Not lay fees only but ecclesiastical fees also fell into the king’s hands from time to time, the estates or temporalities of the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, and other spiritual tenants-in-chief. ‘The moment a vacancy

occurred by the death, translation, or cession of a spiritual baron, the king’s agents made formal seizure of the temporalities. These remained in the king’s hands during the whole period of vacancy, which varied from a few months to a year or more. This seizure of ecclesiastical fees by the king might seem to be a logical absurdity to the uninitiated, since the church could always bring forward a new incumbent of full age to succeed the former one. Ramsay calls it an illegal practice, dating it from the reign of William Rufus and ascribing the royal policy, so long a source 1 CFR. IV, 97.

4 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of revenue to the crown, to ‘the ingenious logic of the ruthless Torch.” The following sees of England and Wales fell vacant during the period

1327-1337: Bangor, Bath and Wells, Canterbury (twice), Carlisle,° Chichester, St David’s, Durham, Ely, Exeter, Hereford, Norwich,‘ Salisbury, Winchester, and Worcester (twice);®° and in Ireland, Dublin and

Ossory. This, surely, was a rich harvest for the crown. Of abbeys and priories, some thirty-five fell vacant during the ten year period. Moreover,

the lands of houses dependent on French chapters were taken in hand from time to time. Early in the first year of Edward III sixty-five such estates were restored, lands which had been seized in 1324. But in 1337 after the outbreak of war with France all such lands were again taken into the king’s hand. Lands in the king’s hands, whether lay fees or temporalities,® were generally entrusted to the custody of officials known as keepers. Commissions of appointment were issued in chancery, and their terms were detailed and

precise. The accountability of keepers was, in general, to the exchequer, which maintained a general supervision over their activities and exacted a financial reckoning from them. The Keepers

What sort of men were the keepers? From what classes were they drawn? Some of them were great officials. Several important keeperships fell to Henry Burghhersh, bishop of Lincoln, treasurer (1327-1328, 1334-

1337), and chancellor (1328-1330). Among the estates in his hands as keeper were those of Bartholemew of Baldesmere,’? Edmund de Mortimer,

Thomas de Vere, Paulinus de Peivre, and John de Mohun.® Henry of Lincoln was a nephew and had been a protege of Bartholemew of Badles-

mere, a Kentish baron prominent in the party of Thomas of Lancaster. Other great officials who held important keeperships were Adam de Orleton, bishop of Hereford, who preceded Henry of Lincoln as treasurer;

Robert de Baldock, bishop of Norwich, chancellor during the last four years of Edward II’s reign, and Robert Utlagh, prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in Ireland and chancellor of Ireland.® * J. H. Ramsay, A History of Revenues of the Kings of England (Oxford, 1925), I, 5-6. *In 1332. The accounting for the vacancy of 1324-1325 took place after the accession of Edward III. “In 1336-1337. The accounting for the vacancy of 1325-1326 was still incomplete in 1332. ° York might be added to this list, vacant in 1315-1317. One, at least, of the keepers of its temporalities was still accounting at the exchequer in 1329. ° Here as elsewhere in this chapter the term ‘lay fees’ will be used to denote fees held by laymen, and ‘temporalities,’ to denote fees, even lay fees, held by the church. 7 Cal. Inq. P.M., VII, 89, ff. °CF.R., IV, 345, 145, 112, 227. °C.C.R., 1327-1330, passim.

Manors and Temporalities 5 Another class of keepers were lay barons, both major and minor. Roger Mortimer was keeper of the marcher lands of the Despencers and of the estates of the earl of Arundel, the earl of Warwick, Laurence of Hastings, James de Audley, and others.*° Another great baron who was made keeper of many lands was Henry de Percy. His richest prize was the inheritance of Robert fitz Walter.** Queen Isabella was made keeper of many lands, mostly individual manors, early in the reign of her son. When she was deprived of her keeperships on the fall of Mortimer these manors and lands were distributed among no less than forty-three new

keepers.” Most keepers, however, especially of lay fees, were drawn from the ranks of the minor barons, the lesser landlords who served the crown in their neighborhood not only as keepers but also as justices, commissioners, collectors, and sheriffs. In the northern counties Sir An-

thony de Lucy, lord of the honor of Cockermouth, co. Cumberland,* and John of Lancaster, lord of ‘a moiety of a barony’ in Westmoreland and Northumberland,"* were very busy in the service of the king as keepers and

justices, William de Tatham, Thomas Deyvill and Robert Hungerford were also prominent in the north. In the middle and southern counties Roger de Belgrade and John de Ifeld were the most active of the lesser barons and local gentry who served the crown as keepers and in other capacities. *°

Occasionally a minor heir was made the keeper of his own inheritance. Seemingly this might be done when the minority promised to be of brief

duration. For instance, John de Mowbray was commissioned keeper of his father’s lands during his own minority, 22 February 1327. Five months later John came of age and having taken his homage the king rendered to him his father’s lands.1® Sometimes the lands of a dead baron were en-

trusted to his widow during the minority of the heir. Eleanor, wife of Henry de Percy, was so commissioned;"’ so also was Margaret, countess of Kent; and there are a number of other instances.*®

Finally, a good many keeperships of lay fees were awarded to the officers and servants of the king’s household. Roger de Gildesburgh, king’s

clerk, was appointed ‘chief steward and surveyor’ of all the castles, 0CF.R., IV, 201-202; T. F. Tout, Chapters in Mediaeval Administrative History (Manchester, 1920-33), III, 21-22. 4 Cal. Ing. P.M., VII, 126-9, L.T.R.M.R., No. 105, m. 150. 2 CF.R., IV, 201-202. 1° Cal. Ing. P.M., VIII, 198. ** Cal. Ing. P.M., VII, 419-421. 1° C.C.R., 1327-1330; C.C.R. 1330-1333, passim; C.P.R. 1327-1330, passim. 16 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 300.

1" Ibid, 14. 1° CF.R., IV, 279-280; ibid., 30, 32, 48-9.

6 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 manors, lands, etc., which Queen Isabella had rendered into the king’s hands, and empowered to demise them to keepers and farmers.!® This he proceeded to do.”° In the same month Roger was one of three appointed

to survey the possessions of Roger Mortimer and Simon Bereford, in various counties.”* Roger de Gildesburgh apparently served at this time, also, as keeper of the lands of Queen Isabella in Kent.?? In 1333 he was

granted an office, the exact nature of which was not specified, in the exchequer.”* Other keeperships of manors were granted to Gilbert Talbot, the king’s chamberlain, to Thomas de Walpole, king’s goldsmith, to John Wyard, king’s yeoman, and to John de Bentley, king’s valet. We may note, also, the appointment of Joan de Carru, a lady of the chamber of Queen Isabella, in a similar capacity.?* These keeperships were of single

manors, for the most part. Keepers of vacant sees were practically never drawn from the ranks

of the greator barons. Henry de Percy had been keeper of the temporalities of Durham under Edward II, and Ralph de Neville, constable

of Warkworth castle, keeper of the forest north of Trent and steward of the household,”® was commissioned keeper of Durham in 1333; but there is no other example in the period of a major baron as a keeper of temporalities. Clerks and other officials of the king’s household were almost invariably placed in charge of vacant sees and they usually served in pairs. They were never given the privilege of compounding for a fixed sum, but were held to an accounting of the entire proceeds of the extensive properties placed in their charge. It is clear that the revenues of vacant sees were an important source of income at the exchequer. The keepers of Canterbury, during the first vacancy, were John de Ifeld and William of Leicester. Ifeld was one of the keepers of Chichester,

later, and William of Leicester recently had been one of the keepers of Worcester. John de Ifeld served the king as justice and commissioner of the peace in Kent and other counties. William of Leicester was appointed by the king as one of the keepers of the goods, jewels, corn, and chattels of the late archbishop during the first vacancy of Canterbury. The keepers of Canterbury during the second vacancy were John de Cobham and Thomas de Faversham. Cobham was one of the collectors of a fifteenth 1° Tbid., 223.

*°L.T.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 159.

CFR. IV, 217. 22 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 256.

22 CPR. 1330-1334, 437.

24C.P.R. 1327-1330, 159; C.F.R., 1V, 337-8; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 504; L.T.R.M.R., No. 99, m. 9; C.E.R., IV, 196. 2° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 254; ibid., 1333-1337, 1, 138, 326, 455, and passin.

Manors and Temporalities 7 in Kent and was appointed keeper of the temporalities of the abbey of St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, the following year.”* Exeter had three keepers. William de Harden was a justice of oyer and terminer;?” Robert de Bilkmore was a son-in-law of William de Harden and served the king as a justice, a coroner, a collector of a twentieth in Cornwall, escheator in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, as steward of Queen Isabella in those parts, and as a deputy of Richard de la Pole, the chief butler;?* and John de Mere, third of the keepers of Exeter, was also a justice, and a coroner in Wiltshire.?® John Claver, busy as a justice in Norfolk and Suffolk in 1325-30, was one of the two keepers of Norwich in 1325-6, and again in 1336-7.°° John de Hampton, formerly sheriff of Gloucestershire, a justice of assize, an escheator in various counties, and steward of the see of Winchester in 1332, was commissioned one of the two keepers of Winchester

in 1334. Earlier, he had been, with William of Leicester, one of the two keepers of Worcester, and the sole keeper, which was exceptional, of the bishopric of Hereford.** These examples will suffice, it is hoped,

to show to what manner of men were entrusted the rich properties of the vacant sees. Four of these men served as keepers in two bishoprics and one, John de Hampton, was keeper of temporalities in three. Finally,

it should be noted that three of the fifteen bishoprics of England and Wales which fell vacant between 1327 and 1337, namely, Salisbury, Ely,

and Carlisle, remained in the custody of the clergy of the cathedral.* Practically all abbeys and priories were entrusted by royal grant with the keeping of their own temporalities, and these grants, in some cases, were made in perpetuity. A fixed sum was usually payable, on a monthly or yearly basis, and a substantial fine was almost invariably a condition of the grant. Not infrequently, in their petition for such a grant, the abbot and convent in question would plead the waste and destruction of their property which

had occurred formerly under keepers of royal appointment.** Alien priorics were not always so favored. When seized by Edward HI in 1337 2° C.C.R. 1333-1337, 218, 220. 27 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 151. *8 Tbid., passim.

2° Ibid., 555; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 293. °° C.C.R. 1327-1330, passiziz.

2 CPLR. 1334-1338, 156; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 10, 23, and passim; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 61, 108, and passim; C.F.R., 1V, 385-6. 2 C.C.R. 1330-1334, 13-14; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 313, C.P.R. 1334-1338, 462; C.F.R., IV, 312.

** The following abbeys and priories, vacant during the period, had the custody of their own temporalities: Abingdon, Bardney, Barking, Evesham, Glastonbury, Holy Trinity (London), Kenilworth, Leicester, Middleton, Osney, Ravenstone, Romsey, St Albans, St Augustine’s (Canterbury), St Frideswide’s, St Mary’s (York), St Mary Pré (Northampton), Selby, Shaftesbury, Southwick, Westminster, and Wherwell. References in C.P.R. 1327-1330; C.C.R. 1327-1330; C.C.R. 1333-1337; and CF.R., IV.

8 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 they were made to account at the exchequer in detail. The keepers, however, were usually ‘loyal monks’ of the houses in custody.**

The Commissions : Lay Fees Let us examine the terms of the commissions which placed manors and temporalities in the hands of keepers, beginning with lay fees. Only two-thirds of an estate was entrusted to a keeper, ordinarily, since a life interest in one-third of the inheritance was, of course, reserved to the widow if she survived her husband.** Furthermore, there were always items, listed in the terms of the commission, which were specifically withheld from keepers, being reserved to the king. Among these were the

marriage of the heir, the appointment to livings, and the right to the military service, with its incidents, of all knight’s fees held of the estate. As an illustration, the lands of Roger de Clifford, in five English counties, were committed to the custody of Robert de Clifford, ‘saving to the king knight’s fees, advowsons of churches, wards, reliefs, and escheats falling

in during the wardship.** It was not uncommon for the keeper to pay a substantial fine to have the marriage of the heir; and it was carefully stipulated that if the heir died unmarried, while yet a minor, the keeper should have the marriage of the next heir, and so from heir to heir. On the other hand some or even all reservations might be dispensed with, in the terms of a commission. William de Monte Acuto was appointed keeper

of the lands of John de Romsey, during the minority of the heir, ‘with all things pertaining to that custody and all knight’s fees, advowsons of churches, wards, marriages and reversions of dowers when they fall in, as well as with the marriage of the heir.’** Very exceptional indeed were

the terms of the commission granting the lands of the earl of Warwick and of John de Hastings to the keeping of Roger Mortimer. He was to have ‘the whole stock and all goods and chattels and growing corn’ in two

of the manors of the earl; and ‘all the winter corn growing in all the manors’ of John de Hastings.*® This grant would seem to violate one of the provisions of Magna Carta. There is abundant evidence that the terms of the keepers’ commissions

were painstakingly enforced. The case of the bishop of Lincoln, keeper of the inheritance of Bartholemew of Badlesmere, is in point. The Badles-

mere lands had been forfeited in 1322, but the forfeiture was annulled and the lands restored to the heir on 1 February 1327. Five days later CFR. V, 28-33; Tout, op. cit, IV, 247-8. °° In the case of forfeited lands no such reservation ordinarily was made.

CFR, IV, 5.

87 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 510.

°° CFLR., IV, 45. 2 June 1327.

Manors and Temporalities — 9 | came the grant of custody to the bishop of Lincoln, the treasurer, ‘to hold as the king’s gift until the heir should come of age . . . for his good and laudable service to [the king] and to Queen Isabella; . . . with the reversion of the lands of the heir’s inheritance, whether held in dower or otherwise for life, or in tail, which fall in during the minority.’”*® Nothing

is said about knight’s fees, advowsons of churches, marriage of the heir, or widow’s dower, but it is clear that all these were reserved, as usual.

The marriage of the heir, Giles, then thirteen years old, had been the subject of a special grant to the bishop, 10 January 1327, for a fine of 500 marks, later pardoned.*® The king made presentments to livings in the Badlesmere churches during the seven years of the bishop’s custody,

thus indicating that advowsons had been reserved.*? It was taken for granted that Margaret de Clare, Bartholemew’s widow, should receive the customary life estate of one-third of the inheritance, but four years and more had elapsed since the annulment of forfeiture, before the escheator was ordered to deliver to her the manors, knight’s fees and advowsons assigned to her by the king as dower of her husband’s inheritance.*? Some time during the year 1333, Margaret died and the escheators took her lands ‘held in dower, or otherwise, for life’ into the king’s hand, and, in January 1334, delivered them to the bishop with the issues from the date of Margaret’s death.** This, of course, was in accordance with the terms of the bishop’s commission. At the same time Giles, the Badlesmere heir, got his mother’s own inheritance; various escheators were ordered to give him full seisin ‘of lands of which his mother was seised in her demesne as of fee,’ and the king took his homage for those lands, ‘though he is not yet of full age.’*#

All through the period of Giles’ minority the bishop was actively pushing his rights to the custody of manors and lands which ought properly to come to him upon the death of various tenants-for-life. These

lands had to be recovered from the hands of escheators, sheriffs, and other keepers. Bartholemew of Badlesmere had himself been a keeper of lands and manors and one at least of his commissions had not been cancelled even after his death, that covering the lands of Payn Tybetot. This keepership constituted a chattel of the dead Bartholemew and so passed to the executor of his will, William, bishop of Norwich. The bishop of Lincoln, as keeper of the Badlesmere inheritance, could not lay claim to °° C.F.R. IV, 20; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 165. 9 C\P.R. 1327-1330, 17, 244. ‘\ Ibid., 365, 471. *C.C.R. 1330-1333, 230-1, 234. *8C.C.R. 1333-1337, 165. “4 Ibid., 168-9.

10 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 this chattel, but as the assign of William, bishop of Norwich, he could and did; and we see the lord treasurer recovering from the hands of the sheriff of Yorkshire a portion, at least, of the lands of Payn Tybetot.*® Late in 1335 Giles came of age and in January 1336 the bishop of Lincoln’s keepership was at an end.*® He had enjoyed a rich revenue

for which he never gave an accounting. Edward III dealt with him thus generously in part as a recompense for the bishop’s alleged mistreatment at the hands of King Edward II.*” The Commussions : Temporalities

Turning now to temporalities, we find that the reservations written into the commissions of keepers included always knight’s fees and advowsons of churches and, in most cases, escheats, wardships, marriages, and reliefs, In the case of knight’s fees, a distinction was made between ‘proper

and demesne’ fees, and the other knight’s fees held by see or abbey. In the grant of the keepership of Ely to the prior and convent thereof, for

example, it was provided that ‘if the king summon his army during voidance the prior and convent shall not be held to do service therein for the proper and demesne knight’s fees of the bishopric . . . saving to the king the service of knight’s fees held of the bishopric.’*® At Glaston-

bury, also, the prior and convent as keepers of the temporalities were ‘not to make any service’ in the king’s army, when summoned, ‘for their own knight’s fees or the knight’s fees of that abbey then in their hands... saving only to the king the service of knight’s fees which are held of that abbey and which belong to the king in times of voidance.’*® Furthermore, the king was to get military service only, from the knight’s fees held of bishopric or abbey, and not the ‘rents and yearly services.’”*°

As regards advowsons, the king always exercised his right of presentment to livings, as they fell vacant. Escheats, wards, marriages, and reliefs were applicable only to the free tenants-in-chief of the vacant see or abbey.** The king got the rents and yearly services of an escheat or wardship until the restoration of the temporalities, when they reverted to

the new incumbent. So also with the marriage of a minor heir; if yet ““C.C.R. 1330-1333, 21-2. “©C.C.R. 1333-1337, 462. 47 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 384. *8 CF.R., TV, 121.

“°C.C.R. 1333-1337, 252. Compare also the grant to the prior and convent of Bardney

abbey (C.F.R., IV, 503); and the grant to the prior and convent of Abingdon abbey (ibid., 327-8).

60 Ibid., 121.

61 Ibid., 143; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 537.

Manors and Temporalities 11 unmarried when the temporalities were restored, ‘the body of the heir to be married’ was delivered to the bishop or abbot-elect.”? There is evidence that only constant and unremitting vigilance would avail to restrain the king, his escheators, keepers, and other ministers from pressing without limit their exactions from vacant sees and abbeys. Edward IIl’s first parliament complained that ‘clergy were appointed to benefices

on condition of sharing emoluments with the king.*? The bishop

of Llandaff in 1323 had had to pay 1000 marks to be admitted to his temporalities.°* In the accounts of the keepers of Glastonbury

for the vacancy of 1322-3 there occurs the item of £111 2 s. for ‘recognition of customers at the time of the king’s primer seisin.”°’ The following provision of the commission granting to the prior and convent

of Ely the custody of the temporalities is revealing: “The escheator or other minister shall take a simple seisin within the bishop’s palace at Ely in the name of the king’s royal lordship, and that done, shall immediately depart without taking fealty or acknowledgement from any tenant of the bishopric or anything thence, so that he shall not stay there for more than a day by reason of the said seisin, or substitute any one in his place.’°®

A keeper’s accountability began, in general, with the date of his commission.°’ Lands falling to the king through forfeiture or death were usually seized into his hands by the escheators or sheriffs. Keepers were sometimes installed almost at once. Thomas of Lancaster was executed on 22 March 1322, with several of his followers, and Thomas Deyvill as keeper of their Yorkshire lands was held accountable from 23 March on.°® Roger of Waltham, keeper of the lands of the contrariant Lancastrians in Staffordshire, accounted from 24 March.®® Queen Isabella rendered her lands to the king on 1 December 1330. Nineteen keepers of these lands 52 C\P.R. 1334-1338, 537.

°° Ramsay, Revenues of the Kings of England, I, 186. 54 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 265.

°§ “Glastonbury Abbey in 1322, Somerset Record Society, XXXIX, pp. 28-30. °° C.C.R. 1333-1337, 642-3. Compare the commission to the prior and convent of Glastonbury (C.C.R. 1330-1333, 426).

°7 For example, on 5 September 1333 the manor of Shelford, in the king’s hand owing

to the minority of the heir of John de Hastings, lately deceased, was committed to the custody of Thomas Prior, ‘during pleasure.’ On 18 January following, a new commission was issued granting Thomas the custody of the manor during the minority, at a yearly rent of £18, as from 7 September. Two years later, when he came before the exchequer to account, he was held to answer for the issues of the manor for the two days, 5 to 7 September. Thomas demurred that he took, and could take, no issues for those days, but he finally agreed to pay at the rate of £18 a year for the two days. L.T.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 27.

°* TT.R.M.R., No. 100, m. 103. 8° TL T.R.M.R., No. 99, m. 112.

12 The Enghsh Government at Work, 1327-1336 were commissioned on 3 December, twenty-three more on 14 December, two more on 19 December, and the last two on 2 January 1331.°° On the other hand the keepers of the lands of Hugh le Despencer, earl of Winchester, who was executed on 27 October 1326, were not commissioned

until November and December of the same year; while some of the manors of the younger Hugh, forfeited on 2 November 1326, remained in the hands of the sheriff who had seized them until 18 December 1327.*! ‘The sheriff, of course, was accountable for the proceeds of these manors while in his hands.®

Keepers of the temporalities of bishoprics and abbeys were held to account for the issues from the very day of the death, or translation, of the late incumbent, no matter if their commissions were dated some time later. Indeed, in one instance, the period of vacancy was so brief that the actual commissioning of a keeper did not occur until after the new incumbent had been installed.® Keeperships were terminated in various ways. A commission granted

during pleasure was, of course, revocable at will. Estates of crown wards were usually granted during the minority of the heir. Such keeperships ended on the day the king received the homage of the heir. Mandates were issued to the keepers the same day to deliver the lands in their

custody to the new tenant-in-chief, and similar mandates went to the escheators concerned.** Prior to the receiving of homage came the heir’s proof of age. In the case of Giles of Badlesmere, for example, a writ was issued to the escheator, 7 November 1335, to take his proof of age. The escheator summoned a jury of twelve, all of them fifty years

of age or more, at Rutland, 14 November, warning the keeper to be present. He (Henry of Lincoln) neither came nor sent any one to represent him but the proceedings went forward just the same. Three of the jurors remembered the date of Giles’ birth because they themselves be-

came the fathers of sons on that day. Another was married the selfsame day; and yet another juror recalled the day through the death of a


Keeperships of temporalities ended on the day the temporalities were restored to the new incumbent. Mandates were issued to the keepers and °° C.F.R. IV, 213-15.

°* L.T.R.M.R., No. 103, m. 35 d. 82 Thid.

** Goldcliff priory. The new prior gave his fealty and received the temporalities 5 April 1328. On the following day he was granted ‘the custody of the temporalities of the priory with its issues and profits’ for a fine of 40 m. C.F.R., IV, 86. **For an example see C.C.R. 1330-1333, 472. °° Cal. Ing. P.M., VII, 480-1.

Manors and Temporalities 13 to the escheators concerned, to deliver the temporalities, and a writ de intendendo was issued to the tenants of the see or abbey. The mandate issued to keepers of bishoprics usually recited that the election of the new

incumbent had been confirmed by his archbishop, or in the case of an archbishop, by the pope, and that he had done fealty to the king. If the pope had had a hand in the election, the royal mandate added that the new incumbent had done fealty ‘after publicly renouncing all words prejudicial to the king and his crown in the pope’s bull.’** From the death of a bishop to the restoration of the temporalities to the new bishop was about three months, on the average. Worcester’s first vacancy lasted only

forty two days (27 August to 8 October 1327). Exeter’s vacancy began 24 June 1327, and ended eight and one-half months later on 10 March 1328; the candidate elected by the chapter and approved by the king was set aside and a papal nominee substituted for him, whom the king received reluctantly. Canterbury’s first vacancy lasted ten months; the archbishop-elect making the journey to Avignon before the temporalities were restored. The second vacancy of Canterbury was less than half as long; the temporalities being restored before the pallium was received.® The vacancies of abbeys and priories averaged somewhat less in length than those of the bishoprics. The Keeper’s Functions What were the functions of the keepers of manors and temporalities? In general, keepers were administrators. They received rents, or held to account those who received them. They exacted services, or supervised the officials charged with their exaction. Keepers were content to leave

the administrative set-up of the manors and lands entrusted to them very much as it was, paying the accustomed wages to bailiffs, stewards, foresters, parkers, gaol-keepers, watchmen, ploughmen, carters, shepherds,

and other officials and servants, who continued to perform their accustomed tasks. Reference is found, occasionally, to deputy-keepers, and these officers were doubtless appointed by the keepers themselves. One important function of the keepers was to see that buildings and fences were kept in good repair and that the resources committed to their charge were conserved. The keepers also supervised the administration of justice

in the lands entrusted to them and accounted for the proceeds. They paid all rents and other charges to which they as custodians were properly liable. °*Form used in the case of the translation of Simon of Worcester to Ely in 1337

(C.P.R. 1334-1338, 462). *7 J. Le Neve, Fasti ecclesiae Anglicanae, ed. T. D. Hardy (Oxford, 1854), I, passim.

14 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 It will be well to examine some of these functions in detail. The exchequer held keepers to a strict accounting for the proceeds of all courts in their charge. John de Thwait, keeper of the royal manor of Burstwick, accounted for perquisites of courts in all the vills and manors of Burstwick during the period of his keepership, amounting to 105 s. 10 d. from Michaelmas 1331 to 24 February following.®* The keepers of the bishopric of Bath and Wells accounted for £172 18 s. 6 d. as proceeds of the ‘pleas

and perquisites of courts, and fines for ingress of lands, together with 9 oxen and 2 calves as heriot,’ during the vacancy of that see; also for 53 s. 8 1/2 d. as proceeds of markets and a fair, with the pleas of the fair.°° No account is without an item of this sort. Sometimes, especially in the smaller fees, the keepers held the courts in person. William de Tatham, keeper of certain manors and lands in Lancashire and Yorkshire formerly held by Thomas of Lancaster, held the courts in his bailiwick personally during the period of his custody and received a good fee for the service over and above his wages as keeper.”° Roger de Gildesburgh, while keeper

of the lands of Queen Isabella in Kent, personally held the courts of the forests in those lands."! The three keepers of the archbishopric of Canterbury were made commissioners of oyer and terminer ‘touching evildoers who entered the closes, parks and woods’ of Canterbury’s many manors and ‘felled the trees, hunted and carried away the deer and trees.’ In Canterbury and in the bishoprics generally, however, the keepers did not themselves hold the manor, hundred, and local courts, but were content to supervise the bailiffs, stewards, and other judicial officers. The manors of Canterbury, for example, were grouped in seven bailiwicks, and at the head of each was a bailiff who held the courts of all manors in his bailiwick. In Norwich the keepers appointed a steward in each manor to hold its courts, guard its liberties, and return and execute all writs, with bedels to make attachments.’* The keeper of Durham appointed a sheriff of his own to hold ‘the pleas of the county of Durham, the wapentake of Sadberge and the pleas of the crown there,’ as well as other lesser judicial officers.7* There is evidence that the king, with the connivance of the keeper of Durham, took advantage of the tenants of the bishopric to proclaim an eyre there, shortly after it fell vacant, and then accepted a fine of 1000 marks for calling it off. The fine was collected from the °° L.T.R.M.R., No. 104, m. 158. °° Pipe Roll, Edw. III, m. 45. 71LT.R.M.R., No. 100, m. 96. ™. C.C.R. 1330-1333, 256.

72C.P.R. 1327-1330, 295.

7? Pipe Roll, 3 Edw. ILI, m. 34. ™ Pipe Roll, 7 Edw. III, m. 45.

Manors and Temporalities 15 bishop’s tenants, but had not been received at the exchequer when the

temporalities were restored to the new bishop. That worthy made a valiant effort to retain the fine in his own hands, but after the lapse of a few years he began to pay it off at the rate of 100 marks semi-annually.”° The king also intruded upon the keeper of Durham a chancellor of the liberty of his own appointment.’® The keeper of a lay fee in wardship was, of course, held to answer to any actions involving the heir or his inheritance.*"

It was the duty of the keeper to attend to the upkeep of the property committed to him and to the conserving of its resources. When the king entrusted the lands of a minor to a keeper it was often stated, and always

understood, that the keeper was to do and to permit no ‘waste, sale, destruction and exile . . . in the lands, houses, woods, gardens and men thereof .. . the king being bound to restore to heirs, being minors in his ward, all their lands when they came of age, as entirely as they came to his hands.’** In the case of the temporalities of a see, the houses, buildings,

fences, and ornaments of the bishopric were to be placed in good repair for the new bishop, at the expense of the estate of the former bishop.” In royal manors, repairs to houses, mills, hedges, palings, and other improvements were always made under the supervision of the keepers.*° Allowances were constantly made at the exchequer for expenses incurred in such upkeep and repairs. Keepers did not always live up to their obligations in these matters. John Lestrange was allowed £90 for 134 ‘oak trees of the best’ which had been felled in his wood and carried to Porchester castle while his lands were in the king’s hands, during his minority.** The lands of John de Hastings in East and West Hanningfield, Essex were committed to the

custody of Walter de Shakenhurst, 14 December 1330, during the minority of the heir. On 12 July 1331 the escheator this side Trent was ordered to go in person to survey the aforesaid lands and enquire what waste, sale, destruction or exile the said Walter had done or permitted and, if any, to resume those lands into the king’s hands and keep them safely until further orders, answering at the exchequer for the issues thereof. Some one, apparently, had made complaint against the keeper. © C\C.R. 1333-1337, 138, 305; C.F.R., IV, 379, 445, 446. 7° C.C.R. 1333-1337, 156.

"T See the case of Henry de Percy, keeper of the lands of Robert fitz Walter (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 512-13; Ibid., 1330-1333, 45-6, 517). 7? C.F.R., IV, 250, 251, 258, 266. 7°C.C.R. 1337-1339, 285. °° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 269, 291. "1 Tbid., 142.

16 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 The escheator found that waste and destruction had been permitted and, on 4 August following, the king committed the manors to another keeper, to hold ‘from the time of the taking thereof into the king’s hand on account of waste done in the houses and woods thereof by Walter de Shakenhurst.’*? In petitioning for the keeping of their own temporalities, deans and chapters, priors and convents, often advanced as the basis for their plea the waste and destruction experienced under former keepers. Glaston-

bury’s petitions recited that ‘the abbey has been much impoverished and wasted in times of voidance by the duress of the ministers who have had the custody thereof.’ °° Wherwell abbey showed the king that the abbey had ‘suffered in voidances in past times by waste and destruction of the woods and groves and other appurtenances committed by escheators and other guardians of the abbey.’ ** The keeping of Bangor was granted to the dean and chapter ‘in consideration of the damages suffered by the cathedral church of Bangor in voidances through the indiscreet keeping of escheators and other guardians of the temporalities.’ ®° It is evident,

then, that a considerable number of keepers failed to conserve and maintain properly the properties entrusted to them, though allowance should be made for the fact that the clergy would be inclined to exaggeration in their complaints in order to get what they wanted. Occasionally, and by way of exception, the keeper of the estate of a crown ward was held responsible for the maintenance of the heir. Mar-

garet, widow of Edmund, earl of Kent, was commissioned keeper of certain manors, lands and rents of the heir’s inheritance, the whole being valued by the escheators at £271 11s. 6 3/4 d. a year. She was to render but £180 a year, however, ‘the king having remitted the residue in part recompense of her losses after the death of her husband and for the maintenance of the heir.’ 8° William de Monte Acuto was made keeper of two of the manors lately held by Edmund de Mortimer, during the minority

of the heir Roger de Mortimer. In his accounting for the proceeds he was to be allowed £100 a year for the sustenance of the heir.*’ Keepers of the lands of minors, however, often bought from the king the marriage

of the heir, in which case he to whom the marriage was granted was responsible for the sustenance of the heir.*® In the case of abbeys and priories provision had to be made for the 2 C.F.R., IV, 205, 266, 269-70. °° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 332.

8 CFR. IV, 177.

5 Ibid, 456. °° Ibid, 279-80. 87 Ibid., 488-9.

°° CF.R., IV, 58, 337-8, 357, 488-9; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 6.

Manors and Temporalities 17 sustenance of the monks, lay brethren, and servants. In many cases certain manors, lands and rents had already been assigned for this purpose. Where this was not the case provision had to be made by the keepers out of the general proceeds of the temporalities, and allowance made to them in their accounts at the exchequer. At Glastonbury it was the custom to support the monks in food and drink out of the temporalities of the abbey.*® When Owston abbey was in the king’s hand during voidance it was found neces-

sary to order the keeper ‘to cause the prior and convent . . . and their servants to have reasonable maintenance from the rents and profits of the abbey,’ and there are a few other examples of this sort.*°

Keepers Accountable at the Exchequer : Lay Fees Unquestionably the most important responsibility of a keeper from the standpoint of the exchequer was financial. Whatever else a commission might or might not include, the financial terms upon which the keepership was granted were always specified most carefully. By far the greatest number of commissions charged the keepers with answering at the ex-

chequer with the proceeds of the lands in their custody according to an extent, made or to be made; or, more briefly, keepers were charged with ‘rendering the extent.’ °* So much a matter of course was this phrase in

the commissions of lay fees that exchequer officials took the view that any keeper claiming exemption must have that fact so stated in the terms of his commission or procure from the chancery a special writ of discharge. John Wyard, king’s yeoman, received the custody of certain lands, ‘without rendering the extent for the same.’ Isabella de Bello Monte, on

30 January 1327, was commissioned keeper of the lands of the earl of Athol, to answer for the extent.°* The exchequer attached her to answer for the extent from the date of her commission. During the Easter term of the following year Isabella’s attorney appeared before the barons and showed a letter patent of 1 July 1327, revising her former commission so that she was to render nothing for her custody. The barons ruled that the

attorney would have to procure a writ from the chancery to the exchequer expressly discharging Isabella from the extent.°* °° The prior was to be allowed 6 d. a day; 59 monks, 3 d. a day, each; 20 lay brethren ang 0 servants, 14% d.a day, each. (‘Glastonbury abbey in 1322’ Som. Rec. Soc., XXXIX, °° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 274; see C.P.R. 1327-1330, 136, 182. °2 *., . reddendo inde regi per annum ad scaccarium hic extentam de terris et tenementis illis factam vel faciendam iuxta verum valorem eorumdem’ (L.T.R.M.R., No. 103, m. 64). °2C.P.R. 1327-1330, 504.

CER. IV, 6.

°*L.T.R.M.R., No. 100, m. 37 d.

18 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Typical of the exchequer’s procedure in holding a keeper accountable for the extent is the following example. On 28 October 1330 certain lands

were assigned to the keeping of one William de Caynton during the minority of the heir; William was to render the extent at the exchequer in two equal payments, at Easter and at Michaelmas. On 28 February 1331 one of the barons of the exchequer and an associate were assigned by letter patent of the exchequer to extend the aforesaid lands. On the following 21 March an extent was made before the two officials on the oath of several jurors, three of them named. This extent was returned to

the exchequer and placed in the keeping of the king’s remembrancer. According to the extent, the manor was worth ‘in all its proceeds, services excepted’ 33 s. 6 d. Having seen the extent and upon deliberation the barons

considered that William be charged with 33 s. 6 d. a year as from 28 October 1330.°° Of course extents were not always made with such promptness. A lapse of three or four years between the beginning of a keepership and the date of the extent is almost usual. Seemingly the barons waited until a number of extents were due to be made in the same quarter of England and then sent two of their number on a circuit of the lands in custody in those parts, making extents as they went.°°® In effect, then, a keeper charged with the extent would be paying a fixed yearly rent, in other words, he would become a farmer. In a number of commissions the rent fixed at the exchequer was not the true value of

the lands, as determined by the extent, being either greater or less. A messuage and thirty acres of land extended at 12 s. 6 d. a year were committed to a keeper at a rent of 2 marks a year.®’ Two parts of a certain manor extended at 74 s. 1 1/2'd. were to bring 100 s. a year to the exchequer.°* Another holding extended at £6 14 s. 8 d. was placed in the hands of a keeper at a yearly farm of £8 6s. 8 d.°° Sometimes too high a rent was fixed. The lands of Fulk de Strange were committed to John Le Strange, his twenty year old son and heir, at a rent

of £400 a year. When summoned to account, John protested to the treasurer and barons that he had received no such sum as £400 a year during

his period of custody nor could he do so. Later on he procured a writ from the king in chancery commanding the barons to allow him to account for the issues he did receive and to discharge him from the £400 rate. John then accounted in detail, balancing expenditures against receipts, manor °*S L.T.R.M.R., No. 103, m. 64. °° Thid.

CER. IV, 130. °° Ibid., 138. °° Ibid. 97.

Manors and Temporalities 19 by manor.’®? On the other hand, rents were fixed which were obviously much less than the yearly value of the lands held in custody. Henry de Percy paid only 500 marks a year for the great inheritance of Robert fitz Walter. Hugh de Audley got the lands of Ralph de Graystock during the minority of the heir for a fine of 500 marks, paid once and for all.*°* Henry of Lincoln, the treasurer, got the Badlesmere lands “as the king’s gift . . . for his good and laudable service.’*°? John Darcy received the custody of two Norfolk manors worth 200 marks a year ‘in consideration of his good

service, ... to have for his stay with the king.’*°? Of course the king in some cases may have received in personal services more than he was paying for.

Abbeys and priories were generally granted the keeping of their own temporalities. In almost every case a fixed rent was charged, and, although this rental must have borne some relation to yearly value, reference 1s rarely made in the terms of the commissions to an extent, whether made or to be made. Glastonbury was to pay at the rate of 1000 marks a year. St Augustine’s, Canterbury, was to pay 600 marks for the whole period of vacancy. Abingdon paid a fine of 600 marks and 100 marks a month. Other rents of 50, 40, and 20 marks a month are seen. Kenilworth was to pay £117 2 s. 8 d. a year, ‘at which it is extended,’ and Evesham was to render the extent.’°* These last two are quite exceptional. As already noted in the sees of Ely, Salisbury, and Carlisle, the keeping of the temporalities during vacancy had been entrusted to the clergy or monks of the cathedral churches. In each case a fixed rent was stipulated. Ely was to pay £2000 a year; Salisbury, £1021 7 s. 11 d. a year ‘at which sum the bishopric 1s taxed yearly;’ Carlisle paid £80 for the first two months and at that rate thereafter.*° Most keepers, then, became farmers, rendering fixed rents; and their rents were usually based upon extents specially made by exchequer officials.

But there was another class of commission, and it included most of the really important ones, by the terms of which keepers were held to answer

at the exchequer for all the issues of the lands in their custody, and, accordingly, they submitted detailed accounts of receipts and expenditures accompanied by many writs, indentures and certificates. Such a commission provided, in the usual phrase, that the keeper ‘shall answer to the king *°° Pipe Roll, 2 Edw. III, m. 31. 101 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 261. 102 Thid., 1333-1337, 44-5. 198 Tbid., 1327-1330, 163.

106 CFR. IV, 165, 307-308. 105 Tid. 121, 312; C.C.R. 1330-1334, 13-14.

20 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 for the proceeds thereof here at the exchequer.’*°® Every bishopic, with the three exceptions just named, was in this class. So also were the important lands of the Lancastrians. In this group, also, were many of the royal manors, including Burstwick. It would seem that in the case of the more lucrative keeperships the exchequer was content with nothing less than detailed accountability. In the case of lesser keeperships, the exchequer

exercised a more distant supervision, or even let keepers take their choice of methods of accounting. When Queen Isabella, in December 1330,

rendered her lands to the king and Edward III assigned his clerk Roger

de Gildesburgh to grant the lands to keepers, Roger was directed to allow the keepers to choose between a fixed rent and accounting for the issues.*°7

In a study of the actual accounting distinction must be made between keepers who were farmers and keepers who answered for the issues in detail. The case of the former was comparatively simple. The view of their accounts recites the terms of the commission, the rent due each year, the period of time covered by the account, the total sum due, and the installments, allowances, and arrears, if any. Reference 1s always made to the extent, if there be one, but no details are ever quoted or even referred to.

Where the issues were accounted for the procedure was lengthy and elaborate. There was a view of the account as a whole. This set forth the terms of the commission, a summary of receipts under various heads, with a total, an itemized list of expenses, and a statement of the net proceeds. There followed a listing of payments on account and allowances in great detail, together with a recital of all writs of authorization and acquittance. The exchequer records also supply the account itself, with the receipts and expenditures set forth at length. ‘his account was engrossed only after having been audited and after the view had been completed and the account closed. Finally, there were numerous rolls of particulars to which reference is constantly made in the long and elaborate account.*°* These rolls supply the items of receipt and expenditure summed up in the main account; the names of tenants are often listed, as well as the number of sheep and other

livestock, and other items in similar detail. The rolls of particulars were also audited one by one and delivered at the exchequer to be engrossed. The accounts of the royal manor of Burstwick, Yorkshire, will serve as an illustration of the detailed records presented. This manor was in °° ‘quod de exitibus inde proventibus regi respondeat hic ad scaccarium.’ (L.T.R.M.R., No. 99, m. 8 d.) 171 T.R.MR., No. 108, m. 159. x08 *, . . Sicut continetur in rotulo particulorum.’ Many of these are to be found under Ministers Accounts in the Public Record Office.

Manors and Temporalities 21 various hands during the period 1327-37, and its keepers did not always account at the exchequer; but, on 3 December 1330, having been sur-

rendered by Queen Isabella, 1t was placed in the custody of John de Thwait, who was to answer at the exchequer for the issues thereof.1°® On 24 February 1332 he accounted for the period 3 December 1330 to 24 February 1332, the net proceeds being £438 9 s. 4% d. The roll of particulars

contains the items of receipt and expenditure. The former included the rent of assize of ‘freemen, natives and other tenants’ in the seventeen vills of the manor, with chevage of the natives and certain rents in kind; the farm of the capital messuages of the demesne, of the mill, and of certain other demesne lands; tallage, toll, and fisheries, let at farm; the agistment of beasts and pasture; hay and forage; the perquisites of courts in all the vills and the farm of the wapentake. Expenditures included allowance for rent of certain burgages and other tenements ‘left and wasted in the hand of the king for default of tenants;’ acquittance of the rent of reeves in the various vills of Burstwick; the purchase of iron and steel for ironing the plows and other expenses connected therewith; bran, hay, litter, iron, har-

ness, and other expenses incurred in the keeping of the royal stable at Burstwick; provender for the king’s sheep in the marshes of the manor; and the wages of the receiver, the groom, the plowmen, the carters, and divers other servants of the manor.

The exchequer audit lists four installments paid by John de Thwait during the period of his keepership. Then come the allowances. First, the keeper asked allowance of 40 s. which he paid to one William Middel ‘to whom the king was indebted in that amount,’ and the keeper offered a writ of the king under the great seal commanding payment, another royal writ acknowledging the debt, and letters patent of William acknowledging receipt of the sum. The keeper next claimed allowance of 40 s. as the value of a common oven of the king, from which the men of one of the vills had withdrawn their suit. William de Broklesby, remembrancer of the exchequer, was assigned to make inquisition therein and certify the treas-

urer and barons at a later date. Allowance was also sought by the keeper for his expenses in the taking and keeping of a great fish, to wit, twelve barrels and six quarters of salt, the salted fish being delivered in accordance with a royal writ to John de Cotingham, larderer of the king; an indenture between John de Cotingham and the keeper recorded the above expenses. John de Thwait asked, finally, for allowance in his account for his own wages and expenses at the rate of £30 a year. From an examination of the

rolls of former keepers, it appeared that £20 a year had been the ac10° CFR. IV, 201.

22 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 customed rate, so it was agreed that the present keeper be paid at that rate. The small remaining balance was paid in two final installments.*?° Let us now observe the accounting of a keeper of the lands of a crown ward. John de Kingston was commissioned on 6 March 1327 keeper of the lands of Thomas Mauduit, a ward of the crown, during the minority of the heir, ‘rendering yearly at the exchequer as much as others will render therefor.’*** The terms of this commission are vague, but John de King-

ston had the promise, at any rate, of the keepership of whatever should be found to lie in the king’s grant; the specifications were to come later. The lands of ‘Thomas Mauduit were the manors of Warminster and Westbury, Wiltshire, and on 12 March following, the escheator was ordered to

deliver to the widow of Thomas a third of each manor, ‘which the king has assigned to her as ‘her dower.**? Iwo days later came the grant to John de Kingston of two-thirds of the said manors, and he was to answer at the exchequer for the issues.*?* The minority ended on 9 June 1332, on which day order was issued to the escheator and to the keeper to ‘cause

John Mauduit, son and heir of Thomas Mauduit, tenant-in-chief of the late king, to have seisin of his father’s lands, as he has proved his age before the escheator and the king has taken his homage for the said lands.’*™

John de Kingston’s custody, therefore, ran from 14 March 1327 to 9 June 1332, and he accounted during the year 1334 for the issues of the lands in his charge. His account, submitted as a whole, was in six parts: from 14 March 1327 to Michaelmas following; year two; year three; year four; year five; and, lastly, from Michaelmas of the sixth year to 9 June following. The manors were dealt with separately. Under receipts are the following items: rents of assize of freeholders, customers, and cottagers within two parts of the manor; customs of the natives; rent of meadow and pasture; the proceeds of two parts of a dovecote and two parts of a water mill; the sale of the works of the customers; two parts of the tolls and of the proceeds of markets, fairs and of the perquisites of hundred and manor courts. Expenditures include a rent paid to the sheriff of Wiltshire ad opus regis for an assart; the expense of preparing demesne land for sowing, the

cost of the seed, and the cost of harvesting the grain; the wages of a collector of rents and of a girl serving as caretaker of the manor house in Warminster. In the royal writ directing the escheator to deliver to the widow her dower the yearly value of the two manors was estimated at 1107 -T.R.M.R., No. 104, m. 158.

11 CFR. IV, 25. 12.C.C.R. 1327-1330, 16.

13 CFR, IV, 27. 114 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 472.

Manors and Temporalities 23 £48 8s. 2 d. and £9 4s. 1 d. respectively. These figures coincide almost exactly with the figures submitted by the keeper, who delivered to the exchequer with his account an extent of the manor and several rolls of particulars. The keeper was allowed wages of 25 marks for the whole period of his custody.*?® The minute detail of some of these accounts may be further illustrated

from the records of Thomas Deyvill, a keeper of Lancastrian lands in Yorkshire. Certain repairs were being made in Pontefract castle at the king’s expense and Thomas was being drawn upon to foot the bills. He submitted an expense item, for example, for a carter and 6 horses for 90 days: wages of the carter and a boy at 444 d. a day; hay and grass for 19 days at 1 d. a day per horse; grass for 15 days at 34 d. a day; grass for 56 days at 4 d. a day; 31 quarters, 7 bushels of oats at 5 s. a quarter; 1 quarter, 3 bushels and 1 peck of peas at 7 s. 6 d. a quarter; also litter, iron, and divers other things required for the horses and the cart. The keeper also paid the wages of various men at arms and archers safeguarding Pontefract castle.*?®

Keepers Accountable at the Exchequer : Temporalities So far we have been illustrating the accounts of keepers of lay fees. The problems of the keepers of the temporalities of a great bishopric were rather different. The sums accounted for were substantial. Durham yielded

net proceeds of £1410 15 s. 2% d. during a vacancy of three months, Canterbury, £1314 9 s. 6 d. in ten months, Norwich, £1152 5s. 10% d. in one year and four months; Bath and Wells, £612 14s. 64 d. in two and one-half months. The accounts of the keepers were organized in various ways. In the sees of Bath and Wells, Durham, and Norwich, the various manors and boroughs were listed one by one and accounted for separately. In Exeter the manors were grouped by counties; in Canterbury, by bailiwicks. Usually three copies of the keeper’s own account survive, one in the minister’s accounts, another copied on the chancellor’s roll, and a third, in the pipe roll.**” In accounting for the proceeds of an individual manor the keepers listed receipts from rents of tenants, the farm of mills, the proceeds of pasture and meadow, the ploughing and other works of the

customary tenants, and pleas of the fairs. In Canterbury rents in kind were of some importance. In one bailiwick of five manors the keeper itemized the receipt of 712 hens, 36 plougshares, 30 horseshoes with nails, a pair of cartwheels, 114 bushels of salt, 1040 sheep, and 13 quarters, 6 bush**° Pipe Roll, 3 Edw. III, m. 52. 1267 T.R.M.R., No. 100, mm. 103-105.

417 F.g., for the second vacancy of Canterbury the references are: Min. Accts. 1128/10; Chancellors Roll, 9 Edw. II, m. 43, Pipe Roll, 11 Edw. II, m. 48.

24 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 els and one peck of beans.*’® Expenditures included acquittances of the

rent of reeves, reapers and bedels; the wages of bailiffs, blacksmiths, ploughmen, carters, parkers, woodwards, and janitors; iron and steel for carts, ploughs, oxen, and horses; the repair of fences, mills, houses and other buildings; and many other items of like character. Each manor had a certain individuality, so lists of receipts and expenditures supply a great variety of items. At Durham the list of expenses presented by the keeper included many items not found elsewhere, such as repairs to the castle of Durham, wages of a sheriff, a chancellor and a constable of the castle, and wages of foresters, both mounted and foot, in the ‘high forest.’*” There was much insistence, in the accounts of the keepers of temporalities, upon items with which the keepers were not to intermeddle. One of these was the spiritualities, and it was not easy to make clear to all con-

cerned just what spiritualities were and what they were not. Evidently the problem was not new, for Edward III’s first parliament in dealing with it made reference to precedents of the reign of Edward II. Spiritualities consisted, in part at least, of the fruits of churches and prebends appropriated to bishopric, abbey or priory itself.*?? For example, the church of Penrith, Cumberland, was appropriated to the bishopric of Carlisle. The keeper of the temporalities of Carlisle set down in his account

at the exchequer an item of £13 for the tithes of wool and lambs of that church, and the keeper of the spiritualities of Carlisle entered a protest, claiming this item as his own. A writ in chancery supported this protest and the keeper of the temporalities was ordered to pay the £13 to the keeper of the spiritualities. ‘It was agreed, by the king and his council in the parliament at Westminster,’ the writ reads, ‘that the keepers of archbishoprics, bishoprics, abbeys and priories ought to intermeddle with the temporalities thereof and not with the churches, prebends and other spiritual things appropriated thereto.’*?* This was in the first year of Edward III. Nine years later, in 1336, the point was still troublesome. The keepers of Norwich were ordered ‘not to intermeddle further with the fruits, issues and obventions of the churches annexed to the bishopric of Norwich or with other spiritualities pertaining to that bishopric .. . but to permit the archbishop of Canterbury to receive them and to restore to the archbishop anything which may have been levied.’ The archbishop had complained that the keepers of the temporalities had been collecting 2° Pipe Roll, 11 Edw. III, m. 48. **° Pipe Roll, 7 Edw. III, m. 45. 72° See the discussion of spiritualities in W. E. Lunt, The Valuation of Norwich (Oxford, 1926), pp. 75-79. 421 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 256, 305; L.T.R.M.R., No. 100, m. 34 d.

Manors and Temporalities 25 the fruits of appropriated churches and he protested that this was ‘against the liberties of the church and canonical sanctions.’*2” The archbishop of Canterbury was ex-officio keeper of the spiritualities

of all vacant sees in his area, and the archbishop of York, in his. When Canterbury was vacant the prior and convent of Christ Church, Canterbury, were keepers of the spiritualities of Canterbury itself as well as of all vacant bishoprics in that area; in fact they exercised the archiepiscopal functions generally.*”*

Much more important as a source of contention, and as a source of revenue, were the goods and chattels of former archbishops and bishops, of which very much is seen in the accounts of the keepers of the temporalities. On the death of a bishop or archbishop the king took seisin not only of the temporalities of the see, but of the goods and chattels of the late incumbent. A mandate ordering the seizure of goods and chattels recites that the late incumbent was bound to the king in divers debts, in part payment of which the proceeds of the goods and chattels of the defunct are to be applied. Clerical tenths and fifteenths, due and unpaid at the begin-

ning of a vacancy, are the usual debts referred to. The keepers of the temporalities were generally charged with the keeping of goods and chattels, as well. Jewels and personal ornaments, stock of various kinds, arrears

of rents and farms, hay, forage, manure and grain, were the principal items in any list of goods and chattels. Of these items by far the most troublesome was grain. So much depended upon the time of year. It was generally held that on the day of a bishop’s death all grain in the granaries, whether in sheaf or not, all growing grain with the herbage thereof if the season were late autumn, and all sown grain whether sprouted or not, belonged to the dead bishop and should be accounted for to the executors of his will. On the other hand all grain sown during the period of vacancy went to the king, whether harvested after the restitution of temporalities or not, and the proceeds were accounted for by the keepers of the temporalities.

It might be well to give a few illustrations of the administration of episcopal goods and chattels. Canterbury fell vacant 16 November 1327, and remained in the hands of the three keepers, John de Ifeld, William of Leicester, and John de Breydestone, until 19 September 1328. On 24 No-

vember 1327, shortly after the beginning of the vacancy, the king appointed two of the above keepers, William of Leicester and John de Breydestone as keepers of the goods, jewels, grain, and chattels of the late 122 C.C.R. 1334-1337, 589-90.

128 Tbid., 1327-1330, 187, 240, 375, 390, 396, 412; Ibid., 1333-1337, 177, 184, 190.

26 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 archbishop, ‘to satisfy the king for debts owed him by the archbishop at his

death,’ and among the debts especially mentioned was a clerical tenth lately granted at Leicester.*** On 14 December 1327, a king’s clerk, John de Radeswell, was appointed to survey the goods and chattels of the dead archbishop and ‘to value the same by the view and testimony of the keepers of the archbishopric, and to make indentures thereof and of the price thereof .. . and to survey the sale of the corn and stock . . . and to ordain

that the money arising therefrom be put in a safe place and kept until further order .. .”??° On 17 December following, John de Radeswell and William of Leicester were appointed to audit the accounts of bailiffs and other ministers of the late archbishop and to recover arrears of farms and rents, delivering the money to the keepers of the goods and chattels.?”* All persons having in their possession rolls and memoranda of the accounts of bailiffs, reeves, and receivers of the late archbishop were ordered to deliver them to the two auditors.*?" Apparently the keepers were dilatory in their surveying and administering of the goods and chattels, for on 25 October 1328, a month after the vacancy was over, the new archbishop prayed that the said goods and chattels be delivered to him ‘as the ordinary . . . to dispose of them as shall seem good for the health of the deceased’s soul,’ promising to satisfy the

king at the exchequer for any and all debts of the deceased. This was ordered.*?* The two keepers of the goods and chattels, William of Leicester and John de Breydestone, ‘with the view and consent of John de Radeswell,’ delivered their account of all the goods and chattels of the former archbishop at the exchequer, the value of the whole being £836 11s. 7 d.

They were ordered to turn everything over to the new archbishop. In January 1330, the new archbishop, as receiver of the goods and chattels of the old, complained that the keepers of the temporalities had taken to the king’s use some 4,000 quarters of corn which properly were of the goods and chattels of the defunct. Order was issued in chancery to the treasurer and barons of the exchequer to examine the account of the late keepers.’?® Meanwhile the new archbishop had sought, 28 October 1328, for ‘the grant at a reasonable price of the corn sown and gathered at the king’s expense during the voidance of the see, and of the hay in the manors of the archbishopric.’ This was granted, and surveyors were appointed to 424 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 338, 472. 125 CER. IV, 72. 126 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 194. 127 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 193.

128 CPR, 1327-1330, 338. 729 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 104.

Manors and Temporalities 27 value the corn and hay.**° It will be observed that some questions relating

to the goods and chattels of the former archbishop were not cleared up, but the recital just given will, at any rate, illustrate the difficulty and complexity of the subject. During the second vacancy of Canterbury, 14 October 1333 to 5 February 1334, the two keepers of the temporalities were also commissioned

keepers of the goods and chattels of the former archbishop, and they merged their two assignments into a single account at the exchequer. This account was organized by bailiwicks and in each subdivision the captions ‘foreign receipts’ and ‘foreign expenses’ appear. Under these heads the keepers listed the goods and chattels of the late archbishop, and all charges connected therewith. The keepers acknowledge receipt of the goods and chattels from the two executors of the archbishop’s will. The net proceeds of goods and chattels of the defunct was £633 19 s. 1 d. In addition, the executors of the late archbishop also claimed ‘all fines, amercements, and chattels of felons and fugitives of all men and tenants of the archbishopric’ during the archbishop’s lifetime, and the treasurer and barons were ordered to search the rolls for precedents.***

A few months after the vacancy was over the king gave to the new archbishop, ‘in regard to his great labors in the direction of the affairs of the king and of his realm,’ all the growing grain in the demesne lands of the archbishopric, whether sown during the period of vacancy or just before; also, all stocks of manure and all land lately manured, whether during the vacancy or not.*** Under these headings the keepers had accounted for 3,397 acres, one and one-half roods of growing grain, all of which, seemingly, had been sown to winter corn just before they took over the temporalities, and therefore constituted part of the goods and chattels of the late archbishop. The keepers also accounted for 375% acres of land manured, partly by sheepfold at 3 s. an acre, and partly by cart at 5 s. an acre, according to the valuation of the homage.’*? The manuring was probably undertaken under the direction of the keepers during the vacancy. To revert to the sum of £633 19s. 1 d., the net proceeds of all goods

and chattels, except growing grain, the keepers were allowed at the exchequer, some years later, a deduction of £135 7 s. 24% d., ‘which the executors of the will of the late archbishop have assigned to the new archbishop in part satisfaction for certain sums of money in which the exec180 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 353. 181. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 231.

*8? Pipe Roll, 11 Edw. II, m. 48; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 565. *°° Pipe Roll, 11 Edw. III, m. 48.

28 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 utors are held to the new archbishop for the deficiencies of houses and other defects, to be taken from the aforesaid sum due the executors.’!34

The importance and the difficulty of the problem of growing grain may be further illustrated. At Exeter the vacancy began on 24 June 1327 and ended 9 March 1328. ‘The growing grain, property of the late bishop, was harvested by the keepers. After deducting the expenses of cutting, binding, carting and threshing, the keepers reported net proceeds of £529 3s, 2 d. They then itemized an outlay of £29 11 d. in plowing the demesne lands of the bishopric for the Lent sowing of 1328. This sum they quite properly charged to the bishop-elect who, having come into possession in March, sowed the land to his own use.’*> When the keepers of Bath and Wells took over the temporalities on 9 May 1329, they found nearly 5,000 acres of growing grain in the demesne lands of the bishopric. They took

this into the king’s hands as part of the goods and chattels of the late bishop for debts he owed the king. The grain was harvested at an expense of £122 9s. 3 d., plus £50 11s. 2 d. for re-roofing the granges. In April of the year following, one of the two former keepers was appointed by letters patent to sell the grain. The net proceeds, expenses deducted, was the considerable sum of £1001 6 s. 8 d. But the bishop-elect claimed that the work of cutting, binding, carting, and threshing this grain had been done by the bond tenants of the bishopric as a part of their autumn works,

and further that most of the work came after 22 July 1329, when the temporalities were restored to him. He claimed, specifically, that of the £122 9 s. 3 d. which had been allowed the keepers for harvesting, the sum of £109 13 s. 14% d. was due him as the worth of the autumn works done after 22 July. This was allowed.**® The troublesome matter of goods and chattels sometimes prolonged an accounting interminably. The keepers of Worcester, for the vacancy of 1313, were still being vexed in 1329 by demands of the exchequer that they account for the proceeds of the winter sowing. The vacancy began on 21 October when Walter of Worcester was translated to Canterbury. According to the keepers, however, the archbishop-elect had remained

in possession at Worcester until 13 December, meanwhile sowing the lands of the bishopric to winter wheat which he later sold to the new bishop of Worcester. Sometime during the year 1328 the chancellor of the exchequer made an inquisition and found the facts to be as the keepers had stated and at the Michaelmas term of 1329 their account was finally closed.137

184 Ibid. In 1339. 136 T T.R.M.R., 102, m. 155. *8° Pipe Roll, 3 Edw. III, m. 145; L.T.R.M.R., No. 102, m. 156. 1877 T.R.M.R., No. 101, m. 14 d.

Manors and Temporalities 29 The archbishopric of York fell vacant in 1315. Twelve years later the executors of the will of the late archbishop were complaining to the king and council that the keepers of the temporalities had taken goods and chattels belonging to that archbishop to the value of £617 and had rendered account thereof at the exchequer, but that no payment had ever been made to the executors. Indeed, the executors were now being distrained to pay arrears of a fifteenth of the first year of Edward II and of a clerical grant of 12 d. in the mark of the seventh year. The treasurer and barons were ordered to examine the accounts of the keepers of the archbishopric, but two years later (that is, in 1329) no progress had been made in the disposal of the case.*° It would seem, then, that the interest of the king and of th: exch: quer in the goods and chattels of a late incumbent was scarcely inferior to their interest in the proceeds of the temporalities. Both matters were dealt with immediately, and, in general, simultaneously. Both were entrusted to the same keepers, and were usually combined in a single account. Of the two items, the goods and chattels of the former bishop were usually worth as

much as, if not more than the proceeds of the temporalities. In Canterbury’s first vacancy goods and chattels were worth £836 11 s. 7 d., as above noted, while the temporalities returned a profit of £13149 s. 6 d.; but this was an unusually long vacancy. In the second vacancy the two items were almost exactly equal.’*? At Bath and Wells the temporalities brought in £612 14s. 6% d., while the grain only, of the late bishop, yielded £1001 6s. 8 d. It is no wonder that the matter of goods and chattels was the source of so much contention and the occasion of such careful accounting. The wages of keepers varied. The smaller men were usually paid by the day; the standard daily wage for the less important keeperships was 12 d. One keeper accounted for the long period of nine years, four weeks and two days as a whole and his wages, at 12 d. a day, amounted to £145 6 s. or nearly half the total proceeds of the manor in his custody.**° An-

other keeper demanded 12 d. a day when this would have amounted to more than the net proceeds of the three manors in his keeping; he was allowed 8 d. a day.*** The keeper of two parts of Warminster and Westbury in Wiltshire received the round sum of 25 marks for the total period of his keepership, more than six years. His wage, therefore, was less than 2 d. a day. In other cases, where the sums involved were small, the keepers 188. C,C.R. 1327-1330, 131-2, 497-8.

*8° ‘Temporalities, £636 7 s. 8% d.; goods and chattels, £633 19 s. 1 d. *4° Adderley, Shropshire (L.T.R.M.R., No. 101, m. 131 d.). 141 7 .T.R.M.R., No. 104, m. 159.

30 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 were told virtually to keep the change. Simon Kenyng, who owed £10 19 s. 4.d., was allowed to subtract 19 s. 4 d. for his wages; Simon de Drayton, owing £4 12 s. 6% d., was directed to keep the 12 s. 6% d.**” Bigger men, in charge of great estates and handling large amounts, were

paid good round sums per annum. Anthony de Lucy received 200 marks a year for his custody of Carlisle castle and the lands appurtenant. He also received £20 a year for the keeping of the manors of Penrith and Somerby in Cumberland; and £2 a year for the manor of Ulnedale. Roger de Gildesburgh received £40 a year as keeper of lands surrendered by Queen Isabella.*** William de ‘Tatham received 20 marks a year as keeper of certain

forfeited lands in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Thomas Deyvill, keeper of the lands of Thomas of Lancaster in Yorkshire through a period of just under five years, debited himself with the large sum of £5,548 4 d. and was allowed wages of £158 4s. 10 d. for the whole period. The keepers of Burstwick, a manor worth £800 a year, were allowed wages of £30 a year, though the exchequer succeeded for a time in cutting this figure to £20 a year.'** In a single instance the wage of the keeper appears to be exactly ten per cent of the net proceeds; Roger de Belgrave, keeper of the lands of Stephen de Seagrave through a six month period, owed £109 3 s.9¥% d. and was allowed wages of £10 18 s. 10 d. In general, however, there seems to be no very close relationship between proceeds and wages. The bishoprics yielded large sums to the exchequer, and their keepers were rewarded with substantial fees. Ralph de Neville was given 100 marks

for his custody of Durham for three months, the proceeds of which were nearly £1500.*** His fee was fixed by the king and council, not by the exchequer, which is exceptional.**® The three keepers of Canterbury during the second vacancy of three and one half months accounted for about £650 and were allowed wages of 40 marks.**’ In the first vacancy, lasting ten months, the keepers accounted for a little over £1300 and were allowed £84 4 mark in wages.*** The keepers of Norwich accounted for proceeds of £1150 for a five month vacancy and received wages of 80 marks.**® Exeter’s keepers received £20 for keeping that bishopric seven and one-half months, the proceeds of which were £529 3 s. 2 d.*°° The keepers of Bath 1427 T.R.M.R., No. 105, m. 168.

437 TR.M.R., No. 103, m. 31 d. 1447 T.R.M.R., No. 105, m. 172; L.T.R.M.R., No. 104, m. 158. *#° Pipe Roll, 7 Edw. III, m. 45. 140 C.C.R. 1333-1337, p. 276.

*47 Pipe Roll, 11 Edw. III, m. 48. 4487 T.R.M.R., No. 102, m. 145. 149 Ibid. No. 101, m. 128 d. 169 Ibid. No. 102, m. 155.

Manors and Temporalities 31 and Wells accounted for £342 14 s. 6% d. covering two and one-half months and received wages of £10.*°* Carlisle yielded £193 12 s. 1 d. ina vacancy of seven and one-half months and the keeper received £16.'*? It

should be remembered, of course, that in most cases the keepers of the temporalities were keepers of goods and chattels as well, worth as much again or more, and possibly the allowance of wages was meant as a compensation for both responsibilities.

Needless to say, most if not all of the sums due at the exchequer, whether as rent or as issues, had been assigned in advance, so that little or no cash was forthcoming. Royal officials began to draw upon the keepers as soon as the latter had any funds available, and indeed, before funds were available. When Roger de Mortimer was granted the keepership of the lands of the earl of Warwick, Laurence de Hastings and James de Audley, the treasurer and barons were ordered to assign all the issues of all those lands against the sum of 6000 marks which the late king had long owed Roger, ‘for his costs and expenses when he supplied the said king’s place in Ireland.’*°* Another assignment, of a sort familiar in the reign of Edward III, was the king’s grant of the 1000 marks which Ely promised to

pay for her own temporalities to the Peruzzi, to be paid at once in one sum. ‘Subsequently the king, not remembering the said assignment, granted

to the prior and convent an attermination for the said 1000 marks, to be paid, to wit, at 100 marks yearly.’ Wishing to satisfy both the merchants and the monks, the king ordered the prior and convent to pay £500 to the former at once, the treasurer and chamberlains to take care of the remaining £166 13 s. 4 d.*°* The keepers of Norwich were asked to pay out a considerable sum for the expenses of a royal physician, a royal apothecary,

and a knight and a valet in the king’s service, all of whom fell ill on the same day and were cared for at one of the manors of Norwich.*®* These are examples, somewhat out of the ordinary, of the many assignments on the funds of the keepers. In most cases the long drawn out account of the keepers at the exchequer was a mere bookkeeping transaction; the balance payable was but a fraction of the total due. It is evident from what has been said that keepers did not account year by year, but were permitted to wait until the end of their keeperships. In the case of bishoprics, abbeys, and priories, no very long period of time was involved. Forfeited lands, also, were held in the king’s hands tempo181 Ibid. m. 156.

182 Ibid, No. 100, m. 100 d. 68 C.C.R, 1327-1330, 261-2. 164 Ibid. 1337-1339, 59,

186 T.T.R.M.R., No. 101, m. 128 d.

32 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 rarily, for the most part, though the keepership of such lands might extend

through several years. Anthony de Lucy held some such lands for four years, others for six years, and still others for eleven years. Wardships ran still longer, in some instances, but here too the accounting was made once for all after the heir’s proof of age and oath of fealty, however long the period of minority had been. Even royal manors were not subject to annual

accounting, for the most part. A change of keepers or a shifting of accountability from exchequer to chamber, or the reverse, was made an occasion for the rendering of account. Accumulation of issues in the keeper’s hands in excessive amounts was rendered unlikely by the frequent and heavy drafts upon the keepers. Once the accounting was ordered, it was finished with reasonable despatch for the most part. There are, however, quite a number of instances in which the accounting was prolonged. Sometimes an issue was raised or

an item was challenged during the accounting which took some time to settle. William Randolf, keeper of the lands and tenements of the Templars in the town of Bristol from 1309 to 1313, sought allowance in his account at the exchequer for certain rents and perquisites, duly itemized, which he said he was unable to collect because of civil disturbance in Bristol. In 1330 the audit of his account was still proceeding; a satisfactory inquisition was yet to be made.*°® The keepers of Worcester for the vacancy of 1313 were finally discharged fifteen years later; the dispute over the winter sowing held them up. The keeper of Glastonbury began his accounting in 1324 and finished 1335; a disagreement over the sustenance of the monks was the cause of the delay.*°" As a special illustration of a long drawn out accounting, there is the case of Edward de Chevington. He was keeper of the royal manors of Eastwood and Rayleigh and of the hundred of Rockford, co. Essex, from 6 March 1324 to 21 March 1327, when he delivered the manors and hundred to Queen Isabella. Chevington began his accounting during the Easter term 1328, charging himself with £166 19 s. 10144 d. After various allowances and one payment of £5, the keeper owed the comparatively large balance of £138 11s. 2% d. A writ under the great seal urged the treasurer and barons to use consideration of the keeper on account of the size of his debt, so he was given a day on 20 May, following, on the pledge of two sureties. He came on the appointed day, but the exchequer officials had discovered in the meantime that former keepers accounted for more than twice as much as he had. On 6 June, therefore, Chevington was com16° J T.R.M.R., No. 102, m. 138 d. +87 ‘Glastonbury Abbey in 1322, Som. Rec. Soc.. XXXIX, pp. 1-35.

Manors and Temporalities 33 mitted to Fleet prison to stay until he had accounted more fully. Meanwhile, extents were to be made of the manors and hundred. On 13 July he was released from gaol on four sureties and given a day on 5 August. Finally, in Easter term 1329, Chevington accounted fully, being charged after all allowances with a balance of £193 6 s. 634 d., an increase of some £45 over his first total. An agreement was then made whereby Chevington was to pay installments of his debt at fixed terms. He failed to keep the terms, however, and was adjudged to have ‘deceived and trifled with the court delaying pay-

ment to the king’s damage and in contempt of court.’ By a mandate of Easter term 1333, the sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire was ordered by the treasurer and baron to attach the said Edward, his lands and tenements, goods and chattels. ‘This was done, and the sheriff reported properties worth 21 s. 4 d. a year. Chevington’s holdings were accordingly entrusted to a keeper at a farm of 2 marks a year, to be applied to his debt.

The next note in the exchequer record is of a parliament held in 1340 at which all debts and accounts of before the beginning of the reign of Edward III were annulled. Accordingly, Chevington could be held only for the proceeds of his keepership from January 23, 1327, the date of Edward III’s accession, to the following March 21, issues amounting to 21 s. Sometime during 1340 Edward de Chevington made fine for his contempt and on May 17, 1343, he paid the 21 s. On the same day his lands were restored to him, thus closing an account which had been begun fifteen years earlier.*°®

We have assumed, thus far, that all accounting of keepers was done at

the exchequer. It should be noted, however, that before the end of our period the king had begun to transfer certain royal manors from the exchequer to the chamber. In this he was following the example set by his father and carried to a still greater development under Richard II.1°° Burstwick-in-Holderness, Yorkshire, had been the principal chamber manor of Edward II, and it was one of his favorite residences. It was a royal franchise, in effect, excluding the justices of assize and having its own justices, sheriff, coroner, escheator, and collectors of tenths and fifteenths. John de Thwait was keeper for Edward II from 1320 to the end of the reign, and the manor with its nineteen members was carried on the books at 100 marks a year.’®° With the beginning of the new reign, Burstwick went to Queen Isabella. When she surrendered her lands 1 December 788 (E 368/100, 7277. 100, 100d, 101d; E 368/101 am. 45, 45d, 122, 128). 16°'T’., F. Tout, Chapters, IV, 254. 189 Tbid., 271-272.

34 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 1330, Burstwick was committed to its old keeper, John de Thwait, and in conformity with the “new deal” inaugurated at the beginning of the reign made answerable at the exchequer. Other chamber manors were made answerable to the exchequer at the same time, when not assigned to Queen Isabella.?®?

Two years later, however, Edward III reverted to his father’s plan and transferred Burstwick to the chamber.**? The exchequer opposed this move with great pertinacity and ceased to trouble the keeper with its demands only after repeated injunctions from the king.*®* Edward III must have been disappointed when Burstwick brought him only £125 in its first year after the transfer as compared with several times that sum while answering at the exchequer.

Before the end of our period several other royal manors were transferred from exchequer to chamber: Clipston, Co. Nottingham, early in 1333; the manor of Pembridge, Co. Hereford, with the castle of Radnor, 27 February 1334;7** the manor of Ludgershall, Wiltshire, of which Queen Philippa was keeper, 10 January 1335;*** and the honor of Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, with its various manors and the castle, 13 October 1335. Carisbrooke was hardly second in importance to Burstwick; indeed Tout calls it

a “southern counterpart.”*° On 4 April 1335, the king transferred part of the inheritance of Edmund de Mortimer from the exchequer to the chamber.*®” This was the beginning of a practice which was carried much further just after our period closes; not royal manors only, but escheats, forfeitures and the estates of crown wards began to go to the chamber. On the whole, however, the accountability of keepers of manors to the chamber had advanced but little, prior to 1337, while all keepers of temporalities continued to account at the exchequer. 262 Fg. Langley and other manors in Buckinghamshire. E 368/104, m. 159. 102 CF.R., IV, 349. 10 December 1332. 168 Fg. a writ of 22 October 1333, C.C.R. 1333-1337, 160. 16 CIR, IV, 400. 185 Ibid. 429,

166 TF. Tout, Chapters, IV, 240-242. 187 C.F.R., IV, 440.



The Terms Mint and Exchange Tee use of the words ‘mint’ and ‘exchange’ needs some preliminary explanation. In fourteenth century records, cambium or excambium! (in French, eschaunge) is used to designate alike the mints where money was coined and the exchanges or bureaux for the changing of English and foreign money which were established from time to time, especially in the ports, for the convenience of the king’s officers concerned with the enforce-

ment of the prohibition against the exportation of English money and metal, and with the detection of counterfeit money. For example, that Walter Turk and John de Wyndesore, called custos cambiorum,’ gardien des nos eschaunge,® excambiator domini regis,* and custos escambu,? were

wardens of the mints of London and Canterbury is clear from their accounts for making farthings, halfpence, and pence. It is equally clear from accounts for the changing of money that Lapinus Roger was keeper of the exchange or the tables of exchange at Dover, but he too was called custos cambii regis,® custos tabule cambii regis,’ and excambiator excambu tabule domini regis.® Accounts of the keeper of mines in Devon illustrate well the

indiscriminate and confusing use of cambium. In 1333-1334, the keeper delivered silver into cambium domini regis apud Eboracum.® At this time no royal mint but an exchange was operated in that place. Five years earlier he

had reported that silver had been taken elsewhere because there was no cambium in the Tower of London.’ At this time the mint in the Tower was +The classical moneta, used in the ‘Tractatus Novae Monetae, was not used in official accounts. Cambium is also used in the treatise. Red Book of the Exchequer, ed. H. Hall (London 1896), (Rolls Series), III, 993, 1002. * K.R.M.R., No. 103, m. 165 d; Pipe Roll, No. 174, m. 34. $K.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 81. “K.R. Accts., Various, Mincs, 262/16. 5 Issue Roll, No. 262. °Ibid., No. 256.

"Pipe Roll, No. 176, m. 11 d. ®K.R. Accts., Various, Mint, 301/10. °K.R. Accts., Various, Mines, 262/19. *° K.R. Accts., Various, Mines, 262/14.

36 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 in operation, but the exchange was probably elsewhere.** Some exchanging

was necessarily done at the mints when foreign money was purchased for recoinage, and one of the mint officials was the campsor or chaungeour, the exchanger. No money, however, was coined at the exchanges. We are forced, therefore, in an effort toward clarity, to distinguish in name, as

the fourteenth century and later practice did not, between these two offices which differed in function, in administration, and in location. We shall translate cambium and its variants as mint, when the making of money is implied; as exchange, when the changing of money was the only business transacted.’”

The Location of the Mints During the first ten years of Edward III’s reign, from 1327 to 1336, two royal mints and probably four private mints were operated in EngJand,7* Little can be said of these private mints. All belonged to bishoprics or abbeys, and evidence of their existence lies in a few surviving coins,**

or in orders to the warden of the royal mints to make dies for one or another of these ecclesiastical mints, or to the officials of the exchequer to issue the dies. All dies were made at the king’s mint in London at the king’s command. They were issued through the exchequer to the local mints, two trussels or upper halves, being supplied with one standard.*® Worn-out dies

were returned to the exchequer.’® The officials of the local mints, the moneyer and the assayer, were admitted to office and sworn in the exchequer.*” The privilege of private coiage was exercised under the close supervision of the royal authority.

No royal mint was operated at York during this period. For that 11The London exchange was frequently outside the mint. In 1344, it was set up in Sernes Tower in Bucklersbury. J. Stow, A Survey of London, ed. C. J. Kingsford (Oxford, 1908), I, 52, 71, 260. Stow also mentions an exchange near St Paul’s for the receipt of bullion. (I, 54, 323). 72 Cf. C. G. Crump and A. Hughes, “The English Currency under Edward I,’ Economic Journal, V. (1895), 51 n.1: The word cambium has been variously translated ‘Mint’ or ‘Exchange’. Madox uses both words indifferently. Later practice inclines toward exchange. We have preferred ‘Mint’ on account of the historical continuity of the office. ** A royal mint was operated in Ireland after May 1336. Twelve pairs of dies for halfpennies and 12 for farthings were to be sent to the treasurer of Ireland “as it has been ordained by the king and his council that money of halfpennies and farthings shall be made at the exchange of Dublin in Ireland for the king and his people of those parts.’ C.C.R. 1333-1337, 579.

**HB.E. and S. Fox, ‘Numismatic History of the Reigns of Edward I, II, UI,’ British Numismatic Journal, V1 (1909), 197-212; X (1913), 95-123.

1° Unum cuneum videlicet unum standardum et duos trussellos (L.T.R.M.R., No. 101, m. 42). The reverse of the die was stamped on the trussel or puncheon; the obverse on the pointed standard (Fox, op. cit., VI, 209). 18 K.R.M.R., No. 107, m. 227 d. *7T.T.R.M.R., No. 101, m. 42.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 37 reason,*® the treasurer and barons of the exchequer were ordered, in April

1331 to send to the archbishop of York two dies, in accordance with a privilege which he had enjoyed since time immemorial. Toward the end of that year, old dies were returned and new ones were thereafter issued monthly.’ In 1329, a die was to be sent to the abbot of Bury St Edmunds, who had not exercised his right of coinage hitherto in this reign because of ‘a certain impediment.’ ?° In November 1336, the treasurer and barons were ordered to send dies for making pennies, probably three,”* to the bishop of Durham.”? In December of the same year a die was to be made for the bishop of Lincoln for his mint at Newark, in accordance with a privilege granted by Stephen and confirmed by Henry III. A day was set for the usher of the exchequer to deliver it.?* The coinage rights of the archbishop of Canterbury had been merged in the royal mint. The archbishop received the profits from three of the eight dies in the king’s mint at Canterbury. He paid three-eighths of the wages of the exchanger and the porter in that mint, three-eighths of the expenses for supplies, and three-

eighths of the annual offering to the church of All Saints in Canterbury and of the rent of the houses where the mint was situated.”*

The principal royal mint was in the Tower of London. ‘Between the ramparts of the Tower and the Inner or Ballium wall was a narrow street called Mint Street with houses. Here was the royal mint, workshops,”® etc.’ It was in operation continuously during this period, except for an interval of 18 K.R.M.R., No. 107, m. 227 d. Fox., op. cit., VI, 208. 1° K.R.M.R., No. 107, m. 227 d; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 221; Fox, op. cit., X, 105; C. Oman, The Coinage of England (Oxford, 1931), p. 168, plates xx, xxi. 7°1.T.R.M.R., No. 101, m. 42. It is stated that the abbots had a mint by the grant of William Rufus, confirmed by Henry I, Richard, and Henry III. Fox, op. cit., VI, 209, says that the grant of a moneyer and one die was made by Edward the Confessor. "1 Fox, op. cit., VI, 208. ? C.C.R. 1333-1337, 632. Fox, op. cit., X, 107, says that there may have been an earlier unrecorded grant of dies. Ruding says that coins were struck at a royal mint at Durham in the reign of Edward III. He also mentions an episcopal mint and has probably confused the two. R. Ruding Annals of the Coinage of Great Britain (London, 1840), II, 164-166.

28 K.R.M.R., No. 113, m. 129.

*“ Pipe Rolls, Nos. 174, 179, Mint Accounts, passim. Ruding, (II, 171) quoting Dugdale,

who gives as his reference the charter rolls, mentions a mint at Berkeley: ‘In this fourth

year of King Edward the third he acquired the Castle of Beverstone ..... and a full

confirmation from that king of Berkeley and all Berkeley Hernesse with diverse immuni-

ties and privileges: as also the grant of a mercat there .... . and likewise liberty of

coynage. W. Dugdale, The Baronage of England (London, 1675-76) I, 357. According to the charter roll, a mint was granted by Henry II, (monetam cum proprio monetario suo), but no mention is made of it in the confirmations of Richard and John (Charter Roll, No. 97, m. 25). Probably the mint was not set up, or functioned for only a short time. The calendar of charter rolls prints Richard’s charter, which does not mention the mint and refers only to Henry’s and John’s charters Cal. Char. R. 1327-1341, 178, 179. *° H. A. Harben, A Dictionary of London (London, 1918), p. 417.

38 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 three months from Michaelmas 1330 until January 1331, when certain readjustments were being made in the government and in the mint. The other royal mint was at Canterbury, situated, according to Ruding, in the High Street, ‘even there where now the inn called the Crown, or some part of it, stands.’ 7° Coinage at Canterbury, which had been intermittent from 1327, ceased after Michaelmas 1331,?? although a newly-appointed warden had, between May and July of that year, made extensive repairs on the houses where the mint was located. He was allowed £22 for these repairs, which necessitated the purchase of 206 cartloads of stone for repairing the walls, 12 cartloads of large stones for repairing doors and windows, 188 cartloads

of sand, lead, tiles, and other building materials.?* Wages were paid to the exchanger in Canterbury until 19 January 1331; to the clerk and the keeper of the dies until 5 May 1335.°° Thereafter only the porter, who was custodian of the mint when it was inactive, received wages.°°

The Staff and Their Duties The scanty information to be found in fourteenth century accounts concerning the mint staff and their duties can be supplemented somewhat from the collection of documents in the Red Book of the Exchequer.* These thirteenth century indentures, ordinances, and statements of the duties of mint officials, and above all, the Tractatus Novae Monetae,*” whether it be of the thirteenth or fourteenth century, are for the most part applicable to this period, because the mint probably altered little in its essential departments or officers after its reorganization in 1279. In addition to these mediaeval documents, one of the most useful sources of information is the report of the royal commission on the mint, published in London in 1849. Ruding’s Annals of the Coinage of Great Britain, although unique, is unreliable for this period, especially in the lists of mints and officials.*° 7° Ruding, op. cit., II, 179. *" Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 14. °° Ibid.. m. 13, C.C.R. 1330-1333, 220. The work was supervised by Roger Rykeman,

the exchanger, and Lapinus Roger, the assayer. *° Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 13.

$0 np’ Roll, No. 183.

*1 111, 979-1010.

** This document has been described and summarized in C. G. Crump and A. Hughes, Economic Journal, V (1895), 50-67.

°° Sir Charles Oman, The Coinage of England, is concerned more with the money turned out than with the organization of the mint. The numismatics of the period have been admirably described in H. B. Earle and Shirley Fox ‘Numismatic History of the Reigns of Edward I, II, Ill, British Numismatic Journal, V1, 197-212; X, 95-123. This contains tables of the amount of money coined during the period, which are also to be found in more complete form in C. G. Crump and C. Johnson, “Tables of Bullion coined under Edward I, Hl, Ul,’ Numismatic Chronicle, Fourth Series, XIII (1913), 200-245.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 39 The organization of the royal mints was, like the coinage, a continuation from preceding reigns: a system of triple control in the hands of the warden, the master moneyer, and the comptroller.** At the head of both the London and Canterbury mints was the warden,*° custos cambiorum, appointed by the king to hold office during his pleasure or for life. That the office was sought after seems indicated by the circumstances under which the first warden of Edward III’s reign was appointed. Among the

new officials appointed at the young king’s accession, Walter Turk, citizen®® and fishmonger of London,®" purveyor to the household as his

father, Robert Turk, had been,?* and keeper of the lands of Hugh le Despenser in Buckinghamshire,®* was on 3 February 1327 made warden of the mints for life. On 6 February he took his oath in the exchequer.*° Not quite three years later, in December 1330, when Edward was beginning to rule as well as to reign, Turk’s appointment was revoked in parliament,** and he was replaced by John de Wyndesore, the king’s clerk.*? Turk protested by petition to the council that he ‘had given his houses in Lombard Street to our lord the king and released and quitclaimed all right which he had or could have in the same houses in the presence of the bishop of Norwich and Geoffrey Lescrop in order that he might have the office for the term of his life.” He asked that justice be done either in the matter

of the office or of the houses.** Although the endorsement states that ‘if he held the office for life as the petition supposed, he could not be ousted

by any revocation without explanation’ he was not reinstated. John de 84 Report of Royal Commission on the Mint, passim. ‘At the close of the 13th or com-

mencement of the 14th century the Comptroller or Counter-enroller was appointed, to check and counter-check on behalf of the merchant or public the several proceedings of the Warden and the Master, the one of them interested on behalf of the king’s, and the other of his own personal emolument, thereby completing the long prevalent triple

organization and check system of the Mint. (p. 1). *>In the preceding century, the various mints had their own wardens (Red Book of the Exchequer, Ill, 982). From ‘the end of the twelfth century a partial consolidation of the various Royal Mints took place; the accounts of the exchanging operations (and therewith probably of the minting operations) of all Royal Minter-Exchangers throughout the country being consolidated, in respect of the profits of the royal seignorage at least, under the supervisal of a newly appointed officer, the Warden or Keeper of the Exchanges or Mints.’ Reports of Royal Conimission on the Mint, p. 1. °° CLF.LR., IV, 2.

°7 Issue Roll, No. 243, May 4. 38 C.P.R. 1317-1321, 566.

°° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 253. He held the manors of Great Marlowe and Bulstrode for five years at £100 per year. K.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 138; Issue Roll, No. 256, June 3. *° CLF.R., TV, 2: K.R.M.R., No. 103 mm. 55, 135 d. “1C.P.R. 1330-1334, 36.

“°K R.M.R, No. 108, m. 155 d. C.F.R., 1V, 211. ‘5 Ancient Petitions, No. 3751.

40 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Wyndesore began to account on 19 January 1331,** and continued in office throughout this period. His appointment was in line with Edward III’s practice of making his clerks his civil servants. John de Wyndesore served the king in various capacities, and his activities as envoy and agent sometimes interfered with his duties at the mint. In 1333, he went to France on the king’s business, which occupied him for three months.*° In the same year he was appointed to supervise the purchase of victuals for the army in the north by the sheriffs in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, receiving 2 s. per day as wages.*® He transacted the king’s business with the Italian companies of the Acioli and Alberti.*” In 1335, he went abroad again*® and in 1336 was appointed to arrest ships of forty tons or more on the south coast for the war.*®

The warden was the administrative and judicial head of the mint, appointed by the king and sworn in the exchequer, where he accounted. According to the Tractatus Novae Monetae, he was responsible for seeing that the coins minted conformed to the current standard of coinage. This entailed a knowledge of assaying and other processes whereby silver could be tested. If he were ignorant of these, he could appoint a deputy. He was responsible for guarding the dies ‘as if they were the royal seal,’ but they were actually in the hands of the keeper of the dies.*° The warden accounted for silver bought for coining which was transferred to the master of the mint*? by indenture on the day it was bought. The purchase of silver was probably supervised by the exchanger of the mint.°? He was also responsible for the safe-keeping of the money, properly minted under his

supervision, until, after suitable examination, it was released from the “Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 13. In 1331, Walter Turk was made collector of the new custom in London, perhaps as amends for his removal from the mint. C.F.R., [V, 281. The other collector, Alexander Waleys, was also an ex-warden of the mint. C.F.R., IV, 297. Turk had two shops in old Fishstreet ‘over against Saint Nicholas church, the one rented

v s. the yeere, the other iit s.. He became sheriff and mayor of London and 1s buried in the church of St Nicholas Cold Abbey. Stow, op. cit., I, 346, 214; I], 164, 166, 3. ““K.LR. Accts., Various, Nuntii, 311/1. “© C.C.R. 1333-1337, 35; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 418. “7 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 506.

“8 K.R.M.R., No. 111, m. 781 d.

“K.R.M.LR., No. 112, m. 78. A John de Wyndesore was executor of the will of Thomas, bishop of Rochester (L.T.R.M.R., No. 101, m. 76 d.); held for the king the manor of Cobhambury in Kent (/bid., No. 100, m. 59); is called clerk of the bishop of Winchester (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 366) and parson of the church of Bedington (Ancient Petitions, No. 3902); and was attorney for one going on pilgrimage (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 468.) °° At the time of the ‘Tractatus,’ they were in the hands of the cutter or engraver of dies. Red Book of the Exchequer, Ill, 1003. 52 K.R. Accts., Various, Mint, 297/17, 297/20. °°? Crump and Hughes, op. cit., p. 58.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 41 mint.°? ‘he warden rendered the annual account for all these transactions. He also accounted for the equipment of the mint which pertained to his duties when he received it from his predecessor and when he transferred it to his successor. Walter Turk accounted for two pairs of large balances, two pairs of smaller ones, and twenty-six copper weights, weighing in all £86 4s. 8 d.; three sieves, one copper rule, one calendar, one iron hammer, and thirteen copper weights, in all 182 pounds; three copper dishes, one ell

of striped cloth for the table of accounts, and the keys of the chamber assigned to the warden. These he transferred to John de Wyndesore,** who in turn accounted for them and handed them on to his successor.®® By his time they were augmented by one coffer full of Gascon rolls.°® The formal enrolments on the pipe rolls, the chief source of information for this period, tell little about the actual activities of the warden at the mint. He was probably present at assays and trials of the pyx, but the lack of material describing the various processes and the scarcity of particulars of accounts leave us with little detailed information. The same lack of material prevents the estimating of the scope and the amount of his judicial power and activity. He had power to hold pleas touching the workers, except those pertaining to free tenement and pleas of the crown,

but the workings of the warden’s court at this time are beyond conjecture.°’ Apparently no records have survived. For his services, the warden received 2 s. per day or £36 10 s. per year,

with an additional 3 s. per day when he went to the Canterbury mint. While the latter mint was in operation, the warden usually spent eight days

there each year, but between January and Michaelmas 1331, John de Wyndesore was in Canterbury for eighteen days, three visits of six days each, probably to supervise the extensive repairs made at this time.*®

The warden was the responsible, accounting head of the mints, appointed probably for political reasons, and still free to carry on his own business or to be active in other capacities for the king at home and abroad. The technical expert and working head of the mint was the second controlling official, the master moneyer. He was usually a goldsmith or an Italian banker, a man with a knowledge of metals and money. At the beginning of "8 Loc. cit.; Report of Royal Commission on the Mint, p. 16. °*Pipe Roll, No. 176, m. 6 d. °° Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 13. 5° Pipe Roll, No. 183, m. 12. °7 C.P.R. 1340-1343, 52; Report of Royal Comunission on the Mint, p. 15.

°° Pipe Roll, No. 174, m. 34. See p. 5 above. ‘As representative of the sovereign, he appears to have had usually the charge of building or providing, and the custody of, and responsibility for, the king’s offices and houses of mint and exchange, and of repairs requisite for them, as also the custody and responsibility of the king’s dies and other instruments of coinage’ Report of Royal Commission on the Mint, p. 16.

42 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Edward III’s reign, on 18 February 1327, Roger Rykeman, citizen of London, king’s clerk®® and mint worker of the preceding reign,®° was ap-

pointed (in the place of Lapinus Roger) master of the king’s monies at London and Canterbury.®* On the following day, at the request of Thomas

Wake, the king’s kinsman and one of the council of regency, Gawainus de Southorp was appointed to the same office,** which on 3 March, Rykeman was ordered to resign.®* He was provided for later with the office of

exchanger in the Tower of London.** Southorp remained at the mint as moneyer throughout this period. He was the king’s goldsmith and supplied cups, brooches, and other jewels to the wardrobe.® He is called vallettus regis and received, according to the account of William la Zouche, clerk of the great wardrobe in 1329, three and one-half ells of striped cloth, three and one-quarter ells of green cloth and one fleece.** He was a citizen

of London and goldsmith of London and Lincoln.§? He had land and chattels in both cities,** as well as in Holdernesse and Northamptonshire.® For a time he was one of the searchers for snuggled money in London.”° The master moneyer was appointed by the crown and held office during the king’s pleasure. It was he who secured, supervised, and paid the workmen and moneyers in the mint."* When the master entered upon his office, it was usual for an indenture to be drawn up between him and the king, stating the kind and value of the coins he was to make, and the proportion of the money he was to receive to cover his own salary, the wages of the mint workers and any losses he might sustain because of depreciation of silver during the coinage. There are, unfortunately, no such indentures for the period under consideration. In the Red Book of the Exchequer is 5° C.C.R. 1323-1327, 158; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 98. 8° L.T.R.M.R., No. 89, m. 40.

®K.R.M.R., No. 193, m. 10; L.T.R.M.R., No. 99, m. 8. Two citizens of London mainperned for his good behavior. °K R.M.R., No. 103, m. 62; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 25. °° K.R.M.R., No. 103, m. 248. °4C.P.R, 1330-1334, 98.

®5 K.R.M.R., No. 110. m. 198; L.T.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 78; Issue Roll, No. 249; De Banco Roll, No. 302, m. 114 d. °° K.R.M.R., No. 110. m. 198; No. 107, m. 92; Wardrobe Accts., 384/7. 7 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 95; L.T.R.MR., No. 106, m. 73. °° C.C.R. 1333-1337, 95, 109.

*° From 21 May 1331, he was custodian of Skeftling, in the king’s hands because of

the idiocy of Wiliam Berchaud, holding it at a farm of 8 marks per year (Originalia Roll, No. 90, m. 12; K.R.M.R., No. 112, m. 92 d.). In February 1331, he held Clyme at a farm of £62 (K.R.M.R., No. 107, m. 92). In the same year he was mainpernor for one of the parties to a suit concerning necromancy, brought in the king’s bench but transferred to the council (Coram Rege Roll, No. 284, m. 28 d., Rex). 7° K.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 367. See p. 64 below. ™ Red Book of the Exchequer, Il, 1002; Report of Royal Coznimission on the Mint, p. 17.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 43 the earliest mint indenture, made in 1280 with William Turnemire of Marseilles.*” He received 7 d. for each pound of pennies coined: 3% d. for wages of the moneyers; 234 d. as compensation for loss of weight of the silver in smelting and “as remedy for the money’; and 1 d. for his own stipend and expenses for the workers—their food, drink, robes, charcoal and the die-cutting. For making farthings he received 10% d. The king agreed

to bear the expense of finding houses suitable for the mints and of the fee to the hereditary die cutters. In 1344, Percival de Portico, according to his indenture as master and worker of money, received 8 d. per pound for coining pennies, which included ‘2 d. a pound for remedy for his work, for loss of weight, cutting the irons and for weight and 2 d. for alloy.’” The rate of mintage in the period was 914 d. for farthings, 714 d. for halfpennies, and 5¥ d. for pennies."* It may perhaps be assumed that, as in the other periods for which there are indentures, about one-half the mintage

went into wages: one quarter of this sum into the salary of the master moneyer and three quarters into the wages of the workers. A possible con-

clusion is that, in the last year under consideration, when the greatest amount of money was coined, the moneyer received about £13 for his own wages and other expenses, and three times this amount for the wages of the workers. ‘The master moneyer received the silver by indenture from the warden, supervised its coinage with the help of the other officials, and returned the coined money to the warden. He accounted at the exchequer only for the utensils pertaining to his office, for the upkeep of which he was responsible.”” Gawanus de Southorp accounted for 20 iron tables, with 2 gutters, 3 tripods and 2 hammers, belonging to the tables, worth £5 6s. 8 d., 13 copper sieves worth 26 s. 8 d.; 10 iron pails for annealing, worth 10 s.; 1 iron pail for granulating copper, worth 3 s.; 3 copper pails for blaunch-

ing, worth 10 s.; also the bars of 5 furnaces with their appurtenances, worth 15 s.; 7 iron pincers of various sorts belonging to the furnaces, 1 rake, 2 hammers, 1 chisel, 1 large hammer and 1 small iron hammer, worth 8 d.; also 1 copper mortar with an iron pestle, worth 40 s.; 1 large balance with 15 copper weights, weighing 84 pounds; 2 small balances and 1 pair

of copper shears worth 20 s.; 1 marble stone, worth 6 d.; the canvas for III, 985. Before this time the warden ‘was allowed the wages of the moneyours, exchangers, assayers, etc. in his accoumpt of the exchange . . . by judgment of the king’s council at the exchequer’ Madox, History of the Exchequer (London, 1769) p. 678. 78 C.C.R. 1343-1346, 456.

“* Pipe Rolls, Mint Accts., passim.

‘°Cf. Red Book of the Exchequer, Ill, 985, a similar arrangement with William


44 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 two counters, a quarter for measuring charcoal and a basket, worth 15 d. The total value was £12 16 d.

The utensils belonging to the master moneyer in Canterbury were a large balance with 5 copper weights, weighing 88 pounds, for the workmen

and 10 other copper weights, weighing 42 pounds worth 10 d.; 2 lead weights weighing 40 pounds, worth 20 s.; 1 hammer, 1 vessel for working copper for the assay, 1 small balance, and 7 sieves, worth 14 s.; 16 iron tables; 2 hammers, 1 gutter, worth £4; also 1 mortar and 1 iron pestle worth 12 d.; 4 iron pincers of various sorts, 1 rake, 1 hammer, 1 iron gutter, | large hammer, 2 chisels belonging to the furnaces and worth 3 s. 4 d.; also 2

pails, 1 pair of copper shears worth 6 s. 8 d.; 9 iron pails for annealing worth 9 s.; also the bars and the other things belonging to 5 furnaces, worth 6 s. 8 d. The total value was £7 8 d.7°

Like the master moneyer, the assayer was a goldsmith. He does not appear on the salary list on the pipe roll, but he received 10 marks per year, probably from the master moneyer.’* He sometimes combined the offices of assayer and changer, as John de Pontoise, a mint official under Edward II, did in London until 28 March 1331, and as Lapinus Roger had done in Canterbury under Edward II as well as in this reign.”® After 1331, Roger Rykeman, removed from the office of moneyer, was changer in London, and John de Preston, a goldsmith, was assayer.’® His duties were to test the silver before coinage and the coin after minting; and to submit his account, in which was shown the profit to the king from the working of silver.®° The assayer in the local mints bought the silver.** The names and salaries of the other officials appear on the pipe roll. The exchanger, who also acted as comptroller in London and Canterbury, received £20 per year in each mint for his services, which were concerned with the purchase of silver and foreign coins for re-minting.** John de

Pontoise was exchanger in London until 27 March 1331, when he was replaced by Roger Rykeman; and in Canterbury until 16 February 1329, when the post was restored to Lapinus Roger, a mint official of the preceding reign.** 7° L.T.R.M.R., No. 102, m. 19 d. 7 K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 22 d. 78 L.T.R.M.R., No. 99, m. 8; K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 22 d; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 264. He was exchanger at Canterbury. 7°C.P.R. 1330-1334, 98, 97.

°° Red Book of the Exchequer, Ill, 984. No such accounts exist for this period. There is one for 34-35 Edward III, which shows a profit of £43 9 s. 5 d. on £902 6 s. 44 d. minted. K.R. Accts., Various, Mint, No. 298/11. 1 1.T.R.M.R., No. 101, m. 42. *? Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 12; K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 22 d. ** Pipe Roll, No. 176, m. 6.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 45 The clerk of the mint received £13 13 s. 9 d. per year, or 9 d. per day, in London and £13 6s. 8 d. per year in Canterbury.** The porter in each mint was paid 3 d. per day.®° The keeper of the dies also received a set wage which was accounted for on the pipe roll. One keeper was appointed for both mints, sometimes to hold office during the king’s pleasure, as was Raymond de Lincoln at the beginning of the period, and sometimes for a term of years, as was Adam le Brabanzon, citizen and fishmonger of London, who first took office 16 February 1331, but who was reappointed in 1334 for twelve years. The keeper of the dies received £9 2s. 6 d. or 6 d. per day in London and half that amount in Canterbury.*® His duties were

probably what they had been in the preceding century: ‘to sit and see that the workmen cut well the plates sent to the die and that no plate be cut or passed through the die unless it be good, legal, and proper.’®” Supplying dies for pennies was an ancient serjeanty, hereditary in the

family of the Fitz Othos, now represented by Matilda de Botecourte, daughter and heir of ‘Thomas Fitz Otho. Seven shillings for each dozen dies were given by the king to the Fitz Othos. Of this amount, two shillings were paid by the master moneyer according to his agreement.®® In 1329, the fee was transferred by Matilda de Botecourte to William, Lord Latimer.°? Whatever may have been the case originally, at this tume the dies

were made in the London mint. “The theory put forward... that only the

irons were provided by the hereditary engraver and that the actual dies were made in the mint receives strong confirmation from the fact that the order for dies was addressed to the keeper of the king’s exchange,

not to a member of the Fitz Otho family.’° Further confirmation of the theory, if necessary, seems to lie in the pipe roll accounts, where the materials purchased are said to be for dies for the three kinds of coins minted. A die cutter was among the mint officials, chosen by the warden and other officers and presented by them in the exchequer, where he was sworn.°* No **The clerks were seldom mentioned by name. William de Merlawe was clerk in London at the beginning of this period. Loc. cit. He was granted a general pardon in 1327. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 50.

*° Pipe Roll, No. 176, m. 6. A porter called Stephen was employed at the London

mint in 1335.

°° C.P.R. 1327-1330, 8. Raymond de Lincoln was appointed 3 February 1327 and took his oath in the exchequer on 6 February (K.R.M.R., No. 103, m. 134); C.P.R. 1334-1338, 275; Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 13, C.P.R. 1330-1334, 530. Pipe Roll, No. 176, m. 6. 87 Red Book of the Exchequer, Ill, 984. °° Pipe Roll, No. 176, m. 6: dies denariorum integrorumni. 8° Loc. cit.; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 391.

°° The irons were the patterns for the details of the die. Fox, op. cit., VI, 96 n. 1. °1 K.R.M.R., No. 114, Communia, Mich. (1340).

46 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 record of the names or remunerations of the die cutters of this period seems to exist.°” They were probably paid by the master moneyer.

Because of the system, whereby the master, who did not account on the pipe roll, paid the wages of the mint workers, the principal source of information leaves us completely uninformed about the number and wages of the mint workers. Rarely do the workers appear in the records of this period. In 1329, ‘any moneyer or other minister for the making of the king’s money or any minister intending the exchange in the city’ was prohibited from going abroad, without special license.** In 1336, after a change

had been made in the standard of the coins, the workers petitioned for increased wages because of ‘greater costs in making that money at greater

labour than in the past.’** A commission consisting of the warden, the exchanger, and others was appointed to investigate, and the matter seems to have ended there.*®

Another record is more illuminating than either of these. By a charter of 2 Edward II, which was in part a confirmation of a less comprehensive one of 9 Edward I, mint officials and workers were exempt from all tallages, subsidies, and other taxes. If, however, they decided voluntarily to share in the taxation, the assessments on the workers were to be made by mint officials, who were themselves taxed by the barons of the exchequer.*®

The mint workers were included in the taxations of 1334 and 1336,°7 and on the exannual roll for those years are the lists of the workers in Canterbury who were delinquent in their payments of the tenths and fifteenths. ‘There are no similar lists for the London mint, and there is no information concerning them. We do not know whether the Canterbury mint had not agreed to the taxation or whether the workers objected to taxation when the mint had been inoperative for a period of years. Whatever the reason for the lists on the exannual roll, they provide almost the only source of information about the mint workers of this period. In the account for the subsidy of 1334, sixty-eight moneyers were charged with sums ranging from one to forty shillings for possessions in Canterbury and in fifteen hundreds in Kent. About one-third were taxed in more than one hundred. °? John de Markeby was die cutter when he died in 1340, but we do not know when he was appointed (Loc. cit.). °°C.C.R. 1327-1330, 572. °4C.C.R. 1333-1337, 696.

°* It is probably this commission which is referred to (as of 1337) in the Report of the Royal Commission on the Mint. The warden in this instance advised an increase of 3 d. in the pound in the rates: 2 d. to go to the master and 1 d. to the workers (p. 12). See also p. 16 where dating is correct. °° K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 30. °7 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 549. This is an order to the mayor and sheriffs of London to permit the warden to levy the fifteenth granted at Westminster in March 1336.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 47 The total amount due was £42 2 s. 114% d.°8 The accounts for the tenths and fifteenths of 1336, one granted in March at Westminster, the other in September at Nottingham, are similar. The lists of names are very slightly

different and, for the earlier subsidy, slightly longer. The tax charges range between the same limits as in 1334. The totals are, for the earlier tax, £46 4s. 234 d.; for the later, £47 12 s.11¥, d.*° Apart from the information the lists provide concerning the numbers and taxable wealth of the mint workers, they are interesting from several points of view. The men taxed are clearly called moneyers although the Canterbury mint had not been operated since 1331. The lists also show a continuity of employment in the mint among certain families. One-third of the names, or at least the surnames, can be found on a list of ministers, workers, and moneyers of the Canterbury mint of 12 Edward II.?°° Likewise the same surnames recur in each of the subsidy lists of this period. There is one example, apparently, of three generations employed in the mint. Simon atte Felde served in the preceding reign; Robert, son of Simon,

and Robert junior were employed in 1336. The same continuity of service is seen among the officials. Lapinus Roger was master of the mint, in an interval between two periods of service as assayer and exchanger, offices which he had been granted for life.*°* Roger Rykeman and John de Pontoise had also been connected with the mint in the preceding reign. Later, in 1342, Robert Lapyn, who appears in the lists of mint workers, was appointed ‘porter of the gate of the king’s exchanges of Canterbury.’*®” From these lists it would seem that English workmen had replaced the foreigners of Edward I’s time.*°*

Concerning the wages of the workers, there is no hint. At the time of the Tractatus Novae Monetae, they received 2, d. per pound for making blanks and 4 d. per pound for striking coins.*°* It has been estimated that in the early fourteenth century they received 8 d. to 4s. 10 d. per month when employed.*®* Payments at this period were probably at about this same rate.

The Silver Used in Coinage

Only silver coins were struck at the mints at this time. Most of the °° Exannual Roll, No. 4, m. 44. °° Exannual Roll, No. 4, mm. 2, 4.

100. T.R.M.R. No. 89, m. 40. 101 K.R.M.R., No. 11, m. 104; Madox, History of the Exchequer, Ul, 90, 91. 102 CPR. 1340-43, 519.

*°° Crump and Hughes, op. cit., p. 63. Aliens did not normally contribute to tenths and

fifteenths, but attempts were frequently made to collect from them, and any aliens working at the mint would probably have been included in these lists. 96 Thid., p. 55.

108 Ibid. p. 56.

48 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 silver was brought to the mint by merchants and was not new silver; it was old money and plate, usually called bullion, and some foreign coin. A small amount was delivered by indenture by the keeper of the king’s mines in Devon. Occasionally, when there was a dearth of metal proffered,

a grant had to be made from the exchequer for the purchase of silver. In 1327, Walter Turk appeared twice before the exchequer, once at Easter and again at the end of June, to deplore his lack of money to buy silver and

the resulting loss of profit to the king. He argued that if he could buy silver and make money therefrom, great profit would result. He was finally

lent £100, half of which was returned on 28 August, and the other half carried over on his account on the pipe roll.*°® Similarly, in 1331, at the beginning of John de Wyndesore’s wardenship, £40 5 s. 9d. was advanced by the exchequer.*°’ Alchemy was also a putative source of metal, which the mint was not unwilling to explore. In a suit brought in the king’s bench

against an alchemist taken with four pieces of counterfeit gold, it was stated that he had previously sold a piece to the warden of the mint for 18 s.;*°° and in 1329 John le Rous and Master William de Dalby, ‘who are said to be able to make silver by alchemy’ were to be brought to the king

‘with instruments and other things pertaining to their craft.’2°? Most of the silver worked at the mints was domestic metal. In only three years of this period did the amount of foreign silver exceed the amount of English used. The small amount minted at Canterbury, however, was foreign silver.??°

The silver was transferred to the master of the mint on the day of purchase. ‘che indentures recording this transaction also record the coined money returned day by day by the moneyer to the warden.*"! The coining process apparently took from two to nine days, according to the records of the receipt of the silver and of its return as coin. Dies for the coins were made only in the London mint.*?? New dies for half-pennies and farthings were made between 3 February 1327 and Michaelmas of that year. They were renewed during the year 1328-1329 and annually after Michaelmas

1330. This is clear from accounts on the pipe roll, where sums varying from 2 s. to 9 s. 3 d. appear in the expense account for iron and ashes for making the three kinds of dies. New dies for pennies were not made until *°° K.R.M.LR., No. 103, m. 165 d; Issue Roll, No. 228, Pipe Roll, No. 174, m. 34. *°7 Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 13. *°° Coram Rege Roll, No. 448. 109 C\P.R, 1327-1330, 386.

29’ This was true of earlier periods. Crump and Hughes, op. cit., p. 65. 441These indentures were sealed, but the remains of the seals are too fragmentary

for identification. 42 Pipe Roll, No. 174, m. 34.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 49 February 1329, although pennies were coined at Canterbury in the preceding year. Two dozen were struck between Michaelmas 1329 and Michael-

mas, 1330, and were probably used at London; two dozen were made between 19 January 1331 and the following Michaelmas, probably for use

at Canterbury; and during the next year two dozen were supplied to the mint, although no pennies were coined.*** ‘A die was usually made by the use of a number of irons or punches, each cut to the requisite shape to produce some portion of the design; and these were punched by the diesinker into the prepared piece of metal in such fashion as eventually to make

up the completed die.’*** The dies were kept in the chest with the coins selected for assay.*?°

Like the pattern of the coins, the standard for the silver used for coinage was, until 1335, that of the two preceding reigns. According to the

standard of 8 Edward I, the pound of twelve ounces contained eleven ounces two and one-half pennyweights of fine silver and seventeen and three-quarters pennyweights of alloy.**® Dissatisfaction with the monetary

situation, however, runs through this period. Before he left the mint, Walter Turk sent one of his several petitions to the king and council to ask that a commission of the council be appointed to consider the defects in the mints and to find a remedy for them. The matter was turned over to the chancellor and the treasurer and such as they would associate with themselves ‘for it seems to the council that it is necessary and demands haste.’**7 But the parliament of 1331 found the remedy still undiscovered. It was then told in full parliament that there was a lack of money current in the country, as the accounts of money coined show. The same procedure for reform was recommended, but action was deferred for four years.11® Finally, in July 1335, a change was made, when parliament, on the advice of the council and ‘for the easement of the people’ determined that a pound of halfpence should contain 21 s. and a pound of farthings, 21s. 2 d. and the said pound should contain 10 ounces of fine silver, to wit 16 s. 8 d. and the remnant (2 ounces) of alloy.*”®

The change in standard had the desired effect upon the output and finances of the mint. The amount of money coined up to the last year of our period was small. This state of affairs had begun in the preceding 118 Ibid.; No. 179, m. 13.

*** Fox, ‘Die Making in the Twelfth Century, British Numismatic Journal, V1 (1909), 191.

115 C.C.R. 1343-1346, 456.

° Ruding, Coinage of Great Britain, 1, 192. 47 Ancient Petitions, No. 7199. 438 Rot. Parl., Il, 62, No. 14. 129° C.C.R. 1333-1337, 675; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 153; C.F.R. IV, 452.

50 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 reign, in 1322, and continued until 1335.17° Few pennies and half-pence were coined. The greatest amount of farthings coined in London in any year before 1335 was £656. 9 d. issued in 1332-1333; the greatest amount of half-pence £16. 11 s. minted in 1329; the greatest amount of pence £387 coined in the same year. In 1335-1336 the output of half-pennies was ten

times greater than in any other year (£1316 3 s. 2% d.) and of farthings, three times greater (£1801 11s. 5 d.). From this time on, the issue of halfpennies was very large.*** Difficulties seem to have attended coinage on the new standard, both within and without the mint. The petition of the moneyers for higher wages indicates dissatisfaction, probably due to no increase in wages to offset their actual reduction when the money was debased. An order to the sheriffs of London in April 1336 to proclaim that ‘half-pence and farthings made at the exchange of London shall be received in payment from all who wish to pay therein’ seems to indicate reluctance on the part of the public to receive the depreciated money.*”” The Warden’s Accounts The warden’s accounts on the pipe roll show how the depreciation of the currency affected his annual balance. The warden accounted at the exchequer, pro se et ministris suis, in person or by attorney.’?? Walter Turk in 1329 appointed Reymund of Lincoln, clerk of the mint, his attorney to render his accounts for the mint and for the manors of Hugh le Despenser, which he held.*** The accounts usually run from Michaelmas

to Michaelmas and are grouped on the pipe roll into two to four year periods, corresponding to the length of time it took the warden to complete his accounting. For example, John de Wyndesore took over the mint on 19 January 1331. In the Trinity term of 1332 (the octave of St John the Baptist) he was given a day on which to render his account. He came and began his accounting before William of New Castle, one of the auditors of accounts;’”° he appeared again in the Michaelmas and Hilary terms following; then because of absence abroad or on other business, or for reasons unknown, he secured extensions of his period of accounting and *“° Crump and Johnson, op. cit., 200-245.

** Fox, British Numismatic Journal, x (1913), p. 111. 122.C.C.R. 1333-1337, 675.

*#°Lapinus Roger, when master of the mint in the preceding reign, was summoned to account. He came and said he ought not to account because Robert de Haselhagh, who was the warden, ought to account. He was upheld in this objection (K.R.M.R., No. 105, m. 47).

124 K.R.M.LR., No. 105, m. 183.

26K R.M.R., No. 108, m. 311.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 51 finally finished in May 1335.1 On 6 July following, a writ ordering payment was sent to the exchequer in response to a request from the warden that the deficit in his account be paid to him.??" The final account of the warden was made up from the accounts of silver purchased for the mint, submitted by the warden and the comptroller,**® the indentures made between the warden and the master concerning silver transferred to the master and coin returned to the warden, and the roll of the smelting.’*® It included also the expenditures for salaries and supplies. ‘he largest item among the receipts of the mint was the total reduction of 16% d. per pound on English silver and 11% d. on foreign silver to cover mintage and seignorage. There was also a small increment of 3 d. in the pound on both kinds of silver received by weight and released by tale, and an increment from farthings received by weight and released by tale; for the coined pound exceeded the pound by weight by four to five pence. Another item in the receipts was the 2 s. for each dozen dies for pennies paid by the master of the mint toward the 7 s. fee of the hereditary die cutters. The receipts of the Canterbury mint included five-eighths of the items above, and 50 s. per year from the archbishop toward the rent of

houses for the mint. The expenses of the mints included the mintage: 9¥, d. per pound on farthings, 744 d. on half-pennies, and 514 d. on pennies; the salaries, in London, of the warden, the clerk, the exchanger, the keeper of the dies, and the porter; in Canterbury, of the exchanger, the clerk, the keeper of the dies, and the porter; and the cost of supplies: parchment, wax, canvas, and iron for the dies. Among smaller items of interest are accounts for repairs to the mints, and, on one occasion, 2 s. for the repair of the doors and the locks broken by the ministers of the king at the time when the king stayed in the Tower of London.'*° The expenses of the warden’s visit at Canterbury were charged against that mint, which also paid an annual offering to the church of All Saints. °° He did not appear at Michaelmas 1333. Orders were sent first to the bishop of Winchester and two years later to the archbishop of Canterbury to distrain him to appear and hear judgment of his non-appearance (L.T.R.M.R., No. 105, m. 83, No. 109, m. 122 d.; K.R.M.R. No. 111, m. 283). 127 K.R.M.R., No. 111, m. 107 d.

*** These accounts contain the name of the person from whom the silver was bought, the date of the transaction, the amount of silver purchased, and the rate at which it was bought, 1.e., the proportion of alloy which had to be added to make it conform to the English standard, and the resulting value of the silver. Silver said to be purchased at 20 s. needed no reduction. English silver was bought at 16 s. Foreign silver was purchased for amounts varying from 2 d. to 114% d. Some of the surviving accounts are comptrollers’ accounts: e.g., K.R. Accts., Various, Mint, 297/19. *° Pipe Roll, No. 174, m. 34, contains a reference to these rolls, but none of the rolls seems to have survived. *°° Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 13.

52 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 After 8 May 1335 a change was made in the rate of seignorage and in the method of accounting, probably in connection with the debasement

of the coinage, to increase the supply of money and to make the mint solvent. On foreign silver, 20 d. was charged, exclusive of mintage; on English silver and alloy, 22 d. A concise description of the method of accounting is given in Tables of Bullion Coimed under Edward I, I, II, an invaluable study of the productivity of the mint: “From that date [May 28, 1285] the warden once more debits himself with the total deduction reckoned in weight and credits himself with the mintage. This method

continues without change. ... One more change must be noted. Up to May 8, 1335, the bullion received into the mint . . . was reckoned in weight

as received, whatever the fineness of it might be. From that date the amount received is noted in the same way, but a note 1s also made of the amount of alloy added and the total deduction is charged upon that also.’**? The income from the mints was an inconsiderable part of the royal revenue. [he accounts for the London mint showed a deficit until 1335 when the seignorage was increased. At the Canterbury mint, throughout

most of this period, no money was coined, but wages were paid to the officers. The revenue from the London mint was never more than £79 until 1335, and the expenses were usually about £100. The wages, exclusive

of the mintage which was paid to the master and workmen, amounted annually to £83 8s. 7 d. Payment of wages to mint officials seems usually to have been in arrears. In 1331, the treasurer and barons of the exchequer were ordered to account with Lapinus Roger, who as assayer and changer at Canterbury, should have received 40 marks per year. Sixty marks, or one and one-half years’ salary, were said to be unpaid. Roger owed the king £18. This was to be allowed him and payment of the remainder was ordered.**? By 1335, 160 marks, or four years’ salary, was due him. He

petitioned for the cancellation of a debt of £39 17 s. to the crown and payment of the remainder.'*? Walter Turk, warden of the mint, was at one time compelled to petition for an order to the treasurer and barons for payment of salary.*** When the warden’s accounts for 1331 to 1335 were balanced, the deficit was £270 8 s. 734 d. This represented the arrears of three years’ salary to the warden, two to two and one-half years’ salary to the exchanger, the clerks of both mints, and the porter, and four years’ *** Crump and Johnson, Numismatic Chronicle, 4th Series, XII (London, 1913), p. 202.

92 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 210. Two years earlier an accounting with Roger had been ordered with a view to balancing his debts to the crown and the arrears of his salary K.R.M.R., No. 105, m. 47. *8° K.R.M.R., No. 111, m. 104. The writ of 18 June ordering payment to the exchequer on 4 August. 184 Ancient Petitions, No. 9695.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 53 salary to the keeper of the dies.*** This last official received an assignment of two tallies on the sheriff of Kent for his money.18* The deficit of £182

6s.6¥% d. which Walter Turk had in his account was disposed of partly by allowing him £67 6 s. 5% d. in his account for the manors of Great Marlowe and Bulstrode and partly by ordering the sheriff of Essex and the proctor of the abbey of Fecamp, whose temporalities were in the king’s hands, to pay the remainder.**’ The repairs made at Canterbury in 1331 were not paid for until two years later, according to a writ on the memoranda roll of 1335.18 During the last year of this period, the deficit in the expenses of the mint disappeared, and the accounts showed a profit of about £100. The slight profit to the government from the exchanges does not appear on these accounts. Contraband Money and Plate The problem of maintaining the integrity of the coinage, of preventing the importation of counterfeit and bad money and the exportation of gold and silver was closely connected with the mint, although it was not admin-

istered through it. The problem was an old one, and attempts to solve it were made, as had been done in earlier reigns, by issuing ordinances from time to time prohibiting such practices and ordering the appointment of searchers in the ports to confiscate contraband money and plate. Exchanges were also established in the ports for the convenience of those wishing to take money abroad. Methods of appointing searchers varied, but they were always accountable to the exchequer and whatever money they seized was sent to the mint for recoinage. Searchers were also quite outside the admin-

istration of the customs system, but they were frequently men who had been, or who later became, customs collectors. They seldom held both posts simultaneously, nor were they the same as the searchers for smuggled wool and merchandise. In 1327, when merchants were forbidden to import coined money or

to buy or sell gold, goldsmith’s work, or silver in plate for export,**® searchers were to be appointed in each county by the treasurer and barons of the exchequer by letter patent under the exchequer seal.*° Few accounts **° Pipe Roll, No. 179, m. 13.

189 KR.M.R., No. 112, m. 245. *°7 Pipe Roll, No. 174, m. 34; K.R.M.R., No. 105, m. 167 d.; L.T.R.M.R., No. 101,

m. 40 d.

188 K.R.M.R., No. 111, m. 95 d.

8° C.P.R. 1327-1330, 42. Gold and silver were to be sold only at the king’s exchange or openly in the goldsmith’s quarter. *4° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 42. See K.R.M.R., No. 103, m. 15 for the appointment of Godewyn Turk and Adam Lucas in London, Thomas de Bynedon and Henry Frost in Southampton,

Wiliam Gylmyn and Thomas Doke in Kent, and John de Thornegge and John de Borhunard in Lynn.

54 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 from this period have survived. In 1331, the exportation of gold and silver

was again forbidden, and writs were issued to the sheriffs ordering all money entering and leaving the country to be examined, all counterfeit and bad money, not of the king’s die, to be sent to the mints, and all concealed money to be seized for the king.*** At this time the appointment of searchers was transferred to the sheriffs. They were to be sworn before the sheriffs, who were to certify the treasurer and barons of their names.**?

If the sheriffs did not act, the communalty of the ports was to elect two good men to act with the bailiffs of the ports.*** “Two years later, control , of searching seems to have passed to the mayors and bailiffs, but the parliament which met at York on the morrow of Ascension 1335 restored the appointment of searchers to the sheriffs, except in places where the searchers were appointed by the king.*** The mayor and bailiffs, however, were commanded to receive an oath from merchants and masters of ships that

they would keep the ordinance. Inn-keepers were also sworn to search their guests.**° From this time the particulars of accounts of the searchers

are more numerous and supplement the enrolment of the returns which seem to begin in 1331.**°

The ordinance of 1327 provided that the punishment for the first and second offences should be the confiscation of concealed or bad money, which should be sent to the mint for re-coinage; for the third offence, the penalty was the confiscation of all goods and imprisonment at the king’s pleasure.**” In 1331, it was increased to forfeiture of life and goods although sterling which was only suspicious was to be seized, sent to the exchanges at the cost of those who bought it, and assayed. If the pound was found to be below the English standard by 12 d., it was to be melted

down and the true value delivered to the owner without his incurring forfeiture.**® Money which was seized was sent to the exchequer by indenture.*** In 1335, the death penalty was removed, but confiscation was 142 K_R.M.R., No. 103, m. 169. Mariners and fishermen were not required to come to the king’s exchange. They could sell their fish and receive ‘king’s good money’ there-

for and carry it where they wished, provided they did not take it out of the realm C.C.R. 1330-1333, 347.

14? C\F.R., IV, 251. Certifications by sheriffs are among the K.R. Accts., Various, Customs, and are enrolled on the Fine Rolls. +43 Fine Roll, No. 131, m. 19. This provision is omitted in the published calendar. We have an account of 1 February 1333 of the bailiff of Liverpool for the seizure of 60 s. in silver money about to be exported. K.R. Accts., Various, Mint, 603/10. 144 CFLR., IV, 347, 452; Stats. of Realm, I, 274. 14° Stats. of Realm, I, 273, 274.

146 See K.R. Accts., Various, Customs. The enrolment is like the enrolment of the customs account, with which they have been preserved L.T.R., Customs Roll, No. 4. 47K R.M.R., No. 103, m. 169. 48 CE.R. IV, 25.

149 K.R.M.R., No. 107, m. 15.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 55 continued.*®° No record of any punishment except confiscation has been found, and cases of this sort seem to have been tried before the barons of the exchequer.*°*

The ordinance of 1331 awarded to the searchers the tenth penny of _ their seizures and the ordinance of 1335, the fourth penny.*°? Likewise _ anyone who would ‘sue for the king against those who commit fraud... shall be thereto received and shall have the fourth penny of what is achieved at the suit.’ Inn-keepers who found contraband money in their guest’s possession received the same fee. The searchers submitted itemized accounts enumerating sums of money seized from various individuals. In

the exchequer, these accounts were copied in less detail, only the totals being put down and several accounts put on the same membrane. On these

latter records it was indicated that they were audited by a baron of the exchequer and a clerk, then sent to be engrossed and enrolled. Counterfeit money was handed over to the chamberlain who was held accountable for it and who sent it to the mint. Sterling was sent to the exchequer and was

accounted for on the pipe roll. The fourth penny was deducted, and the searchers were quit of the remainder. Under either ordinance the fees must have been small, for the accounts which have survived show that the confiscations were of small amounts. Some difficulty seems to have been

at times experienced in securing searchers’ accounts. The collectors in Fowy and Falmouth in 1334 and in Portsmouth in 1335, were attached, after several distraints, and brought into the exchequer, where they made fine for their release from Fleet prison, probably only a formal imprisonment.’®? The existing enrolled accounts show that during a period of six years £4 10 s. 9 d. in counterfeit money was seized and £13 3 s. 3 d. in sterling. These are the returns for forty-five ports and towns.*°* The Exchanges

Part of the organization for controlling the importation and exportation of money were the exchanges at Dover and other ports. The one at Dover seems to have been the most important—at least we have almost no

information concerning the others. In charge of each table of exchange was a warden and comptroller both of whom accounted at the exchequer. On 31 May 1331, Lapinus Roger, assayer and exchanger at Canterbury, was appointed warden of the exchange at Dover and was sworn in the exchequer on the same day. William Virgil, a collector of the wine custom *8° Stats. of Realm, I, 273. 18) K.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 165 d. 182 CFR. IV, 251; Stats. of Realm, I, 274. 183 K.R.M.R., No. 110, m. 50. 164 L_.T.R., Customs Roll, No. 4.

56 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 at Sandwich, was appointed comptroller and was allowed to take his oath before the prior of Dover.**> Roger was summoned, 20 February 1332, to render his account in person at the exchequer at Easter; but he did not come and was distrained to appear on the morrow of St John the Baptist when the comptroller was also summoned.*°® The latter accounted through his attorney, Thomas le Smyth, chaplain, of Dover.**’ The accounting covers the period from 31 May 1331, when Roger took office, to 12 February 1332. The particulars of Roger’s account, the controlment, and the enrolment on the pipe roll survive.*°®

Roger had received £200 from the treasurer through Anthony Bache, merchant of Genoa, for the expenses of the exchange.*®? This sum, during the following year, he was ordered to return to Bache, receiving from him a tally.*®° He had also received £300 Paris in accordance with the following

order, paying it out subsequently to Anthony Pessaigne, merchant of Genoa, in part payment of the king’s debt to him:*** To John Vyncent, clerk, receiver of the issues of the county of Poitou. Order to deliver to Lapinus Roger, keeper of our table of exchange at Dover, for making exchanges there, the value of 1000 small turonenses in florins of Paris and gold regales and small florins of Florence of good weight as well as in small turonenses and parisenses, according to price at which these monies run these days in the parts of Abbeville, receiving from the aforesaid Lapinus his letters

patent testifying the receipt of the sums of whatever sort of money, and the value, by which letters and by pretext of this writ, we shall cause allowance to be made you in your account at the exchequer for the issues of the county. July 12, 1331.

By the treasurer.*®

The profits of the exchange, according to the account, were £18 15 s. 83% d. on £683 9s. 2 d. worth of foreign money changed.** It is said that no accounts were presented for other exchanges because none were held. When next the question of counterfeiting and smuggling came up for consideration, in 1335, Roger was reappointed exchanger at Dover.*®* 190 K.R.M.R., No. 107, mm. 13, 225, 270 d. 166K R.M.R., No. 108, mm. 303, 336; L.T.R.M.T., No. 108, m. 134 d. *°7 Pipe Roll, No. 176, m. 2 d. °° K.R. Accts., Various, Mint, 301/10; Pipe Roll, No. 176, m. 2. 1° Loc. cit.; Issue Roll, No. 256. 16° K.R.M.R., No. 108, 355 d. *°* Pipe Roll, No. 177, Item Lond. 7°? K.R.M.R., No. 107, m. 340. In 1335 the merchants of the society of the Achioli

of Florence were ordered to deliver to Roger £330, the Albertini £200, and the Bardi £200 ‘for the furtherance of certain affairs of the king therewith,’ but this was probably not connected with the business of the exchange C.C.R. 1333-1337, 518. *8° K.R. Accts., Various, Mint, 301/10. 104 CPLR. 1334-1338, 153, C.F.R., IV, 452.

The Royal Mints and Exchanges 57 However, William de la Pole, merchant of Hull and one of the great financiers of the period, was appointed to hold tables of exchange there as well as at London, Great Yarmouth, Boston, and Hull.*® John de Bamp-

ton was made comptroller at Dover, with a salary of £10 per year.*® Bailiffs of towns were asked to cooperate in enforcing the ordinance. There is an account of William de la Pole’s for the profit accruing to his exchanges, between 23 September 1335 and 23 March 1336, from the small sum charged upon each foreign coin exchanged for its equivalent in English money. The receipts at Dover were 12 s. 4 d. from 296 gold florins

changed at the rate of 4 d. each; and at Great Yarmouth, 8 s. 7 d. on 206 florins. The total amount (20s. 11 d.) was allowed to de la Pole toward the deficit of £1145 11s. 3% d. in his account for various expenditures for the king from 1333 to 1336.18 The coins changed, according to these accounts, were florins of Florence, worth 3 s., or 3 s. 1 d., at a profit of 1 d. each to the exchange; gold parisienses worth 6s. 3 d., at a profit of 2 d. each; gold agnelle worth 3 s.7 d., at a profit of 14% d.; and the regales worth 3 s.9 d., or 3s. 9¥%4 d., at a profit of 1% d.7®° The rate of exchange was determined by the king and

council, and the expenses of the exchanges were paid by the crown.*® Foreign money was obtained in the ordinary process of exchange and from the administrators of the French possessions of the king. The period under consideration was one of little activity and innovation in the royal mints and exchanges. General administrative changes took place in 1331 but, apart from the substitution of a king’s clerk for a London business man as warden of the mints, the changes were little more than a shifting of officials into different posts, rather than the substitution of new

ones. The working force of the mints altered little and was in no small degree recruited from families long in the service of the mint. The deficits in the mint accounts and the need for reform were repeatedly brought to the king’s attention by Walter Turk, the first warden, and others, but no change in financial policy was made until 1335. Then the coinage was debased, the mint charges increased, and a favourable balance was achieved for the first time. Long-standing arrears in wages cannot have made employment in the mint profitable; but the warden, master, and most of the other officials had sources of income of their own, or other employment 10° CFR. IV, 459. 100 CPLR. 1334-1338, 153.

*** Pipe Roll, No. 180, Item Kancia; K.R. Accts. Various, Mint, 301/11; K.R.M.R., No. 112, m. 241; L.T.R.M.R., No. 112, m. 160. *°* K.R. Accts., Various, Mint, 301/10. *°° Pipe Roll, No. 176, m. 2.

58 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 with the crown. The slight output and the insolvency of the mints during this period reflect the prevailing monetary conditions and faintly foreshadow the financial collapse in the next decade when foreign war was added to the financial burdens of the country.


Mint Orfriciats 1327-1336 London

Warden Walter Turk 5 February 1327—18 January 1331 John de Wyndesore 19 January 1331—6 June 1338

Master Moneyer Roger Rykeman 18 February 1327—3 March 1327 Gawainus de Suthorp 4 March 1327—

Keeper of the Dies Raymond of Lincoln 5 February 1327—15 February 1331 Adam le Brabanzon 16 February 1331—

Exchanger John de Pontoise 7 February 1327—27 March 1331 Roger Rykeman 28 March 1331—

Assayer John de Pontoise 18 February 1327—1 April 1331 John de Preston 1 April 1331—

Clerk William Merlawe 5 February 1327—?

Lawrence 1335 Porter Stephen 1335 Canterbury

Exchanger and Assayer’ John de Pontoise 1 February 1327—February 1329

Clerk John 1335

Lapinus Roger 16 February 1329—

* Other officials, except the porter, were the same as at the London mint.


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62 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 SEARCHERS FOR SMUGGLED AND CouNTERFEIT Money?°

Port Searchers Period |

Barton William de Severby 1 February 1333—5 July 1335 John de Gascryk™ 5 July 1335—1 July 1337 Thomas de Holm™

Beaumaris John Cokay 1 February 1333—Michaelmas 1337 Adam de Sandbache

Beverley John Porter 5 July 1335

Thomas Clay, Sr. 5 July 1335—26 September 1336 Richard Dousyng 5 July 1335-18 November 1336

Stephen Dengard 26 September 1336—Michaelmas 1337

John Jurdan 18 November 1336—Michaelmas 1337

Blakeney Simon atte Bek 1 February 1333—5 July 1335 William le Teverner

Boston Roger Petygard 1 February 1333—20 February 1334 John Bras, Sr.** 5 July 1335—Michaelmas 1336 Robert Pynson**

William le Fitz Geffrey 5 July 1335 of Sutton*®

Bridgewater John de Cromwell 1 February 1334—Michaelmas 1334 John Reed

Bristol John Fraunceys, Sr. 6 May 1331—10 March 1333 John Horncastel

Roger Turtel** 5 July 1335—

Roger Ploef John Spicer

Canterbury Simon de Bertolet” 5 July 1335 Robert Lapyn Richard de Morton Peter de Wynterbourn

Cardigan John Fader 1 February 1333—Michaelmas 1337 Philip Coyd

Chichester John Stubbe 1 February 1333—5 July 1335 Richard Hale

Robert Elvestede 5 July 1333—Michaelmas 1336

John Wyn

Thomas le Rede 1 February 1336—Easter 1341 Thomas Wynt

Carnarvon Reginald Cani 1 February 1333—Michaelmas 1336 Conway Nicholas de Sardon 1 February 1333—20 July 1336 John Godynough 9 Source of this list, unless otherwise stated, L.T.R. Customs, Roll 4. ** These were also searchers at Grimsby at this time. 2CEFR., IV, 454. 18 Ibid., 453. 14 Ibid., 454.

The Royal Mint and Exchanges 63

Port Searchers Period Dartmouth William Hemyng 6 May 1331—5 July 1335 Richard de Whiteby

Dover William Hurtyng*® 1 February 1333 John Monyn John Salkyn John Archer

Emsworth John atte Crouch 6 May 1331—6 December 1333 Richard Gamelyn

Henry de Clere 6 May 1331—Hilary 1336

Robert Coupere

Exeter Martin le Keu 1 February 1333—July 1335 Lawrence Coterel Roger Wython John de Sutton John Cok

Richard Pleygh 5 July 1335—Michaelmas 1337 Robert Mounteyn

Exmouth Walter Vuyng 6 May 1331—5 July 1335 John de Sutton

Falmouth John de Tresempel 12 July 1331-27 March 1334 Amedeo de Boseneysek David de Tavystock”® John Tresymple**

Faversham William de Makehaved 1 February 1333—Michaelmas 1336

Fowy Thomas Coulyng 12 July 1331—27 March 1334 John le Carpenter

William Treverglion 27 March 1334—5 June 1335

Robert Harpour

Gainsborough John de Bautre 1 February 1333—Michaelmas 1337

Grimsby Robert Saresone™ 1 February 1333—5 July 1335 William Therlyng Simon de Founteney

Hertilpole Roger de Gosavyk™ 5 July 1335 John Belle

Ipswich Geoffrey Stace 1 February 1333—10 November 1342 William Ryngild 1 February 1333—5 July 1335

John Irpe 5 July 1335—10 November 1342 *° ‘These were reappointed 5 July 1335 (C.F.R,, IV, 454). *° These were summoned to account 1334 (K.R.M.R., No. 110, m. 150). *7 See Barton.

CFR, IV, 454.

64 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336

Port Searchers Period

| Kingston-upon Robert de Upsale Michaelmas 1331—Michaelmas 1334

: Hull Robert le Draper Michaelmas 1331—5 July 1335

Stephen Swan ,

William de la Pole 1 February 1334—5 July 1335

Stephen Beghum

John Wyt de Bedeford | John ,, John de Barton_ 5 July 1335—Michaelmas 1336

William le Armurer

Kirkby John Horn 1 February 1333—Michaelmas 1336 Liverpool William Fox 1 February 1333—Hilary 1335

William de Aynolvesdale

,: Thomas Potyn , William Box

London William de Preston 6 May 1331—1 July 1331 : Thomas de Coumbe

John Smart - .

John Greylond John Youn Robert le Ropere

Godewyn Turk 6 May 1331— Gawainus de Suthorp 1 July 1331—

Henry Crosse John Bengio Nicolas de Walsh William de Wydeshale

John de Causton” 5 July 1335—

Edmund de Leynham , Adam Breauzon

John Wroth

Lyme Regis John le Goldsmyth 1 February 1333—June 1336 Gregory Rois Richard Tredegold

Lynn Robert Asshman, holder 1 February 1333—1 July 1335

, de Milham,William bailiff de Snoryng 5 July 1335—Easter 1337 of the land of Thomas

Geoffry Mumby Geoffry Drewe

Melcombe Jacob Chyvaux 1 February 1333—5 July 1335 William Hendy Edward Nicole

Adam le Glide 5 July 1335—Michaelmas 1336 Richard Langynon

Newcastle — Gilvert de Mitford 5 July 1335—Michaelmas 1336 Richard de Galweyth Gilbert Scot 2° CER, IV, 454.

The Royal Mint and Exchanges 65

Port Searchers Period

Norwich Thomas But 5 July 1335-11 November 1336 William But John de Hales

Plymouth Edmund de Northcote 6 May 1331—5 July 1335 John de Fishacre”

Portsmouth William Shail® 6 May 1331—30 June 1335 Richard de Cornewaille

Ravenscvar Peter Cok Michaelmas 1331—Easter 1335 John de Naunton

Rochester J. de Seyndengs” 5 July 1335 J. de Legh

Saltfleet William de Bambrugh 1 February 1331—5 July 1335

Sandwich Michael de Josne 5 July 1335—10 October 1340 John Loverik Adam Stephen

Scarborough Robert le Smyth Michaelmas 1332—22 January 1337 Robert de Hoton Michaelmas 1332—22 January 1337 Henry de Roston 1 February 1333—Michaelmas 1336

William le Cartere 30 November 1335—Michaelmas 1336

Shoreham John de Beauchamp 1 February 1333—5 July 1335 Southhampton John Fysmark Easter 1332—Easter 1334 Richard Imberd

Nicholas Mundehard 1 February 1333—12 December 1335

Robert atte Barre 1 February 1333—12 December 1335

Thomas Sampson 5 July 1335-12 December 1335 Henry Imberd

John le Taverner” 12 December 1335—4 April 1336

Nicholas Lovye 4 May 1336

Roger le Smyth 4 April 1336—4 May 1336 Teignmouth Henry de Rocombe 6 May 1331—5 July 1335 Henry le Hope

Richard Bade .

Arnulph atte Shamele 6 May 1331—5 July 1335

Yarmouth John Perebroun 1 February 1333-5 July 1335 Thomas de Drayton Alexander Fastolf

Robert Elys 1 February 1333—1 June 1338 Geoffrey de Stalham 5 July 1335-1 June 1338

William Turkild John de Fordele

*® Reappointed 5 July 1335, with Thomas de Spekyngton. C.F.R., IV, 454. ** Before this time the bailiff had been appointed scrutator by the king by the great seal. L.T.R., Customs Roll, 4, m. 15. 22CE.R., IV, 454. 22 C.F.R., IV, 479, 484.

66 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336

Port Searchers Period York" Wiliam Fox 20 May 1331—6 June 1335 William de Seleby Thomas de Clay of Beverley 25 July 1335—10 July 1336 Richard Dousyng of Beverley

John Somer .

Weymouth John Warman 1 February 1333—Michaelmas 1334

Whitby William Payn Michaelmas 1332—5 July 1335 John le Smyth

Winchelsea Denys Alard 5 July 1335— Stephen de Padyhamme”* ** See Beverley.

= CFR, IV, 454.


The Mining Interests of the Crown T HE mining interests of the crown in the fourteenth century fall into two classes: mines worked directly by the officials and at the expense

of the crown; and mines worked by private individuals, paying certain dues in money or a fixed proportion of the yield. Each of these sources was also liable to be farmed out. It may be stated at once that from a revenue point of view the first class was, during the early years of Edward III, insignificant; in the second, on the other hand, the issues of the stannaries, or tin mines, of Cornwall and Devon were of great value, but the issues from other mining fields are singularly obscure and difficult to trace. In England, as elsewhere, all gold mines were, zpso facto, the property of the crown. It is, however, an exaggeration to speak of gold mines, and it would be more correct to say all gold found in the soil (including buried treasure). Theoretically, silver mines, equivalent in England to mines of argentiferous lead, were included in the regalia, but there appears to be no evidence of the crown ever enforcing its claims. ‘The two most important lead fields outside the royal demesnes had been granted in the twelfth cen-

tury to the bishop of Durham and the bishop of Bath and Wells respectively; it is doubtful if any of the other private fields were sufficiently rich to repay the irritation that would have been caused by the assertion of a

royal claim; and it is a question, which lawyers do not seem to have attempted to solve, what proportion of silver would convert a lead mine into a silver mine. If the crown claimed only the silver and left the lead to the private owner, could he be forced to refine the lead? The position of the private owner may be said to have been regularized in August 1338 by the king and council in parliament granting licence to the lords and commons in Devon, and elsewhere throughout England, to dig their own soil for gold and silver and for hidden treasure, and to refine the same, provided that no such metal was removed or refined except in the presence of a clerk appointed for the purpose.* (No such appointments have been traced.) All such silver was to be brought to the king’s mints, and the gold 1CF.R, V, 89.

68 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and treasure to the exchequer; one third of the silver money struck, and half the gold was to go to the king, and the remainder to the lord of the soil. If the lord did not dig where such metal was known, or suspected to exist, the king might do so. Administration and Operation of the Silver-Lead Mines For the period 1327 to 1336, the only mines of any importance which were worked directly by the crown were the silver-lead mines of Birland, or Beer Alston, in Devon. These were under the control of a keeper appointed by the king. At the beginning of the reign of Edward III this post was held by Richard of Worcester, who had been appointed on 17 June 1325.7 He was a king’s clerk and is found in 1322 supervising the victualing

of certain ships for the Irish expedition;* he may be identical with a man of that name who occurs on the Close Rolls as rector of Bircham in Norfolk. After his death, on 29 March 1327, James Prygg was appointed* on 9 July, and held office for just a year, when he was succeeded by Walter de Salop.® Walter is mentioned as ‘beneficed in Norwich diocese,’ having been presented to East Bradenham on 15 March 1329, and to Troston nine days later.” Mathew de Crauthorn, who was keeper from 2 June 1329 to 5 January 1338, was a local landowner at Crowthorn in Sutton; he had been receiver of the king’s lands in Glamorgan in 1326 and was sheriff of Devon 1322-1325 and 1330-1332. Associated with the keeper and also appointed by the king, was the controller, who kept the counter-roll, or duplicate set of accounts, Adam de Wythiford, who was appointed on 7 April 1327, was a king’s clerk, who became collector of customs in South and West Wales in 1331 and was chamberlain of South Wales in 1332;° and Robert de Wythiford, who held the office from 22 January 1331 for about a year, was presumably a relation of his.*° His successor, William de Pafford, appointed 2 February 1332,” seems to have been a local man, as he was dealing in tin at Lostwithiel in 1331.7? On the following 11 September Robert de Wythiford was reappointed.** These changes seem to have led to some confusion, as in Decem* Exch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, No. 4. SC.C.R. 1318-1323, 427.

“K.R.M.R., 6 Edw. III, m. 319. °Exch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, No. 14. °K.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 257 d. *CP.R., 1327-1330, 374, 378. 8 Ibid., 18. °C.P.R. 1327-1330, 61; Ibid., 1330-1334, 197, 250. 10 Ibid., 45,

1 Ibid. 247. Exch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, No. 21. 18 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 331.

Mines and Stannaries 69 ber 1332 an order was sent to Mathew de Crauthorn to pay Robert de Wythiford such wages as Adam de Wythiford, late controller had, and also to pay him his wages from 22 January 1331 to 2 February 1332, when Wil-

| liam de Pafford was appointed, as he says that they are in arrear.’* Similarly in December 1334 orders were sent for the payment to Thomas de Stapelford, appointed controller on 15 June (1.e., 1333), of arrears and of

wages in future; and this order was repeated in November 1335.7° It seems not improbable that the controllers rarely came near the mine; the

counter-roll was simply a duplicate set of accounts drawn up by the keeper’s clerk and sent to the controller in due course; the keeper was not

infrequently short of money and, in any case, would not want to be bothered with sending small sums all the way from Devon to London, and so would wait until he had the money in hand and was asked for it, or until he was up in town to present his accounts at the exchequer. In this instance,

when Mathew de Crauthorn presented his account in 1335, he credited himself with payments of £15 6 s. for the fee of Robert de Wythiford as controller for 306 days, between Michaelmas 1332 and 31 July 1333,

and of £27 19 s. for the fee of Thomas de Stapelford for the following | year and 194 days, down to 11 February 1335.'° Stapelford, as we have seen, was appointed on 15 June, but presumably notice of the appointment did not reach the keeper until 31 July. Appointments of keepers and controllers state that they are to receive the usual wages paid to the previous holders of the posts. The exchequer ofhicials were evidently uncertain of what these were. Although Mathew de

Crauthorn was appointed in June 1329, we find that in December 1332 the king gave orders for the treasury rolls to be examined to see what fee was paid to Robert de Thorp as keeper of the mine of Birland (at the end of Edward IIs reign), and on 2 February 1333 he ordered that, as the barons of the exchequer had certified that Robert received 2 s. a day,

Mathew should have that amount.” |

Sumilarly it was not until April 1330, three years after his appointment,

that it was settled by scrutiny of the rolls that Adam de Wythiford, the controller of the mine, was entitled to 12 d. a day and that Mathew de Crauthorn’s payment of his fee at that rate should be allowed.*® This vagueness was not a matter of any practical importance, as the wages were 4 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 516. 18 C\P.R. 1330-1334, 452, C.C.R. 1333-1337, 164, 449.

1°T.T.R.M.R., No. 107, m. 164. 17K R.M.R., No. 109, mm. 36, 50; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 4. 18 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 22.

70 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 paid not by the exchequer but out of the issues of the mine, and the amounts would be matter of common knowledge on the spot.

When a new keeper took over the management of the mines, it was usual to draw up an inventory of the stores or equipment. Such an inventory was made on Monday 17 June 1325, when Thomas de Sweneseye,

late keeper of the mine, handed it over to his successor, Richard of

Worcester. It runs:*° First, 2 movable boles (bolas versatiles), of which one belongs to the bishop of Exeter (Walter de Stapeldon, the treasurer). Item, in the smithy of the mine at Furshull, 2 worn-out anvils. Item, 4 iron tongs (tenellz). Item, 2 medium-sized hammers. Item, 2 hand hammers. Item, 1 nayltol

(tool for making nails). Item, 32 pyckes and pylouwes (as there are always coupled in these accounts the pilows were presumably a variety of pick).

Item, 4 brodbokeres (buckers, or flat-headed hammers for breaking ore or slag). Item, a handboker. Item, a cart bound with iron, worn out. Item, a pair of wheels, at Buckland, with harness. Item, a ferry boat. Item, an iron scrat (probably an instrument for scraping the sides of the furnaces). Item, one iron prichel (a punch). Item, a great iron spoon for drawing up lead at the boles and furnaces. Item, 2 iron spudes (poles shod with iron). Item, an iron hook for raking out embers (gletz’) from the hearth. Item, 2 tubs to put ashes in. Item, a bushel for measuring ashes. Item, 4 brodbokers for breaking black work (1.e. slag). Item, a weighing machine (ponderale) for weighing tallow. Item, a great iron balance with wooden scale-pans (folis) for weighing lead, with 7 lead weights weighing 2354 pounds. Item, a balance with bronze scale-pans, with 5 weights of the Tower of London weighing 21 pounds silver of London Tower weight (the Tower pound of 5400 grains was the predecessor of the Troy pound of 5760 grains). Item, a small balance for making assays. Item, 6 bellows for furnaces and refining. Item, a worn-out bellows for the refiners. Item, 2 barrows (ciuveras) for carrying black work and other things. Item, a pack-horse of practically no value.?° Item, 2 saws. Item, a net for weighing tallow. Item, 6 hurdles (gaz’) for carrying ore. The inventory made on 5 January 1338, when Mathew de Crauthorn handed over the keepership of the mine to Gawin de Suththrop,”* contains certain variants and additions: Two balances (pis’) of copper, of which one is broken, with 5 bronze

weights weighing 21 pounds; a great balance with 2 wooden scale-pans 19 Exch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, No. 4. *° But the exchequer clerks were still worrying about this pack-horse in 1335 (Pipe Roll 9 Edw. III), after which it was transferred to the Exannual Roll. 21 Mins. Accts., 1290, No. 1.

Mines and Stannaries 71 and 6 lead weights weighing 3% feet (the foot being 70 pounds); 4 bellows for smelting (sylt’) and one for refining; 46 pikes and pilows; an iron ladle; a stilek (elsewhere ‘stikel’, equivalent to the ‘prichel’) a scrap(er); 2 spud; a hamer; a tripod; a pair of sandpottes (the pot of sand was a measure of uncertain content); 2 tubs; a wedge (coign’); 6 breadborkes (1.e., brod bokeres); a cask; 3 hanging locks; a mortice lock (serura intrinseca); a boat with two oars, worn out; a hurdle; a bucket; 6 iron collars (probably for the mouths of bailing bodges); a maul (7malliel); 2 hammers; 2 tongs; a broken saw; 3 iron wedges; 2 bodges (bulg’, leather buckets for bailing); a panier; 12 worn-out sacks for ore; 2 great sacks for charcoal; a washing shovel; a sieve; a can (canne); a pair of wheels.

Regulations for the working of the Devonshire mines were drawn up in March 1298” and formed the basis of administration thirty years later, though considerably modified in detail. These modifications were due to the deterioration of the mines which is shown by the fact that in 1298 the year’s yield of silver was £1450, whereas between 1327 and 1337 the average yield was in the neighbourhood of £50. For the period which we

are studying we are fortunate in having a series of original accounts (Ex- | chequer K.R. Accounts, bundle 262, nos. 10 to 27), some of which are also enrolled, in a shortened form, on the Pipe Rolls and summarized on

the Memoranda Rolls.?? , The Working Staff The staff of the mine consisted of the following:—an overseer (supervisor) at 14 d. the week; a boler, or smelter, at 15 d. the week, with two assistants at 8 d. each; one or more furnace-men (fornellarii), at 12 d., with blowers at 1 d.a day. By the 1298 regulations there were to be ‘five good refiners who know how to separate the silver and to refine,’ but during the period under study there were only two, one receiving 18 d. and the other 15 d., with assistants at 8 d. There was a keeper of the woods and overseer of the woodcutters, at 10 d.; a smith at 12 d., whose assistant had 144 d. a day; and a chandler at 8 d., to make the candles necessary for work in the mines, for which purpose roughly half a ton of tallow was used in a year.** In 1298 there were to be 300 miners, half from the district and half from the Peak; what the numbers were in this period it does not seem 2? L.T.R.M.R., Hil. 25-26, Edw. I, m. 51. *° "The ensuing account of the working of the mines is based on these accounts, which are as follows:—(No. 10) 28 Oct. 1325—10 July 1327; (No. 11) detailed weekly accounts for the same period; (No. 14) 9 July 1328-3 June 1329; (No. 16) 3 June 1329—26 Jan. 1331; (No. 18) 26 Jan.—29 Sept. 1331; (No. 19) 29 Sept. 1331-28 Feb. 1332; (No. 20) 28 Feb.—29 Sept. 1332; (No. 27) 28 Sept. 1332—4 Feb. 1335. “4 In 1330 an empty cask was bought to keep the tallow in, ‘because of mice.’

72 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 | possible to estimate. In February 1331 the sheriff of Devon was ordered to supply 40 miners,” and in June 1333 the sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derby was given a similar order;?* but even these slight indications may be misleading, as it does not follow that the commands were obeyed. For instance, in May 1326 Thomas Robyn, who was evidently the head of the working miners at Birland,*” was sent with the king’s writ to the sheriff of Derby to obtain 60 miners, but when he returned, three weeks later, he brought only 18 with him. The pay rolls do not throw any light on the question, owing to the fact that the miners were mostly paid by piece-work, and the payments are entered simply as ‘to divers miners’, or ‘to Thomas Robyn and his partners’, and so forth. In the regulations of 1298 it was laid down that, ‘as to the piece-work of the miners, those who can find ore in their diggings shall be paid at piece-

work rates (a la tasche) as before, that is to say 5 s. for the load, as well of black as of white ore, if the white cannot in any good way be put at less.’ The black ore—galena, or sulphide of lead—yielded about twice the amount of lead and four times that of silver that the white—carbonate— yielded, but it was not until Richard of Worcester became keeper of the mine in 1325 that a lower rate, 3 s., was agreed upon for the white ore.

Most of this seems to have been obtained from what are called the

‘boshepes’ and ‘forstedes’; these I take to be waste heaps at the entrance to the shafts and galleries, a surmise which is borne out by an entry of a payment ‘to a woman who collected 1 load 8% dishes (the load contained 9 dishes) of ore from boshepis.’ There is also an entry in 1329 of William atte Stone carrying, with two horses, ‘boos’ of unwashed ore to the water for washing. Probably in the earlier time, when the mine was prolific, the

poorer white ore was largely thrown aside onto the spoil heaps which were now being picked over. When, however, the white ore had to be mined (although it was less profitable to the king), the winning of it was laborious to the miners, and the rate of 3 s. was not sufficient. In 1331 Mathew de Crauthorn was paying 4 s. the load, and afterwards it was paid for at the same rate as the black. While work on the veins was thus paid for according to results, there was naturally a great deal of “dead work (mortua opera)’ that yielded no ore and could not be paid for in this way.”® “Those who are on dead work and cannot find ore in their digging although they do even more work—for 26 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 77. 26 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 52.

27 In 1325 he was sent up to London in haste with letters concerning the state of the mines—of the stannary of Dartmoor—Exch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, No. 11. “8 See L. F. Salzman, English Industries in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1923), p. 51.

Mines and Stannaries 73 some dead work is harder than the live—shall be on wages until they come to the ore.’ In practice, instead of paying for such work by the day, each job was given to a gang on contract at so much the fathom (teis). As the

size of the gang is rarely, and the time taken practically never, stated, it is impossible to work out the average daily wage; but the rate of wages paid at these mines is astonishingly low. We have seen that the chief refiner, a highly skilled workman, received only 18 d. a week, the overseer of the miners 15 d., and the smith 8 d., while the rate of pay for unskilled work was 1 d. or 14% d. a day. These rates were paid to miners prospecting

at ‘Lobbecumbe’ in 1332. In the building trade at this time, the master masons or carpenters usually received 6 s. a week, smiths, 5-6 s., ordinary masons and carpenters, 5 d. or 6 d. a day, and unskilled labourers 3 d. or 4 d. From the evidence of the Statutes of Labourers and other sources, it would seem that the cost of feeding a workman was about 114 d. a day. Even allowing for the possible cheapness of living in the west country, it is difficult to see how the miners lived, for there is no trace in the accounts of any food being supplied to them; the contrary indeed, seems implied in the regulation that wages shall be paid every Saturday, ‘and that no miner stay in a market town under colour of buying meat or otherwise, without leave, beyond Sunday at noon.’

The dead work was divided into two classes: whole work (integrum opus), opening new shafts and galleries in the rock, soft work (follum

opus),”® the clearing, repairing and timbering of old shafts and galleries. This division can be illustrated from items in the 1331 account, under the heading ‘Mortua Opera’: ‘paid to Hugh Nede and his partners for piercing 6 fathom of whole work at the shaft (ad forstull),®° at 4s. 6 d. the fathom,—27 s. To the same for clearing 7 fathom of soft work, at 18d.,—10 s. 6 d. To the same for sinking (avaland’) and piercing 23 fathom of whole work there, by the job, at 6 s.,.—£6 18 s. in the course of which the king received 3 loads, 7 dishes of black ore. . . To Simon atte Lowe, Richard de Bonteshale and his partners for clearing (feyand’) and cleaning 9 fathom of soft work in Hulgrove, at 18 d.,—13 s. 6 d. To the same for piercing 5 fathom of whole work there to let the air in, at 4.s..—20s...

To Roger de Bonteshale and partners, Peter Adam and partners, and David Val and partners for sinking and piercing 724% fathom of whole work at Forshull,—£14, in the course of which job were found two loads of ore, which the king had. Also to Peter Adam and partners for remaking qe also as ‘felli, and ‘falli operis’; probably it is a Latinization of some local word. *’ Occurs in 1328 as ‘la forstowe’; the ‘stowe’ was the windlass set up at the top of the shaft: See, Salzman, Industries, p. 46.

74 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and clearing (feghyand’) 55¥, fathom of soft work at Forshull—£4 3s. 3 d.’

Next year a gang, which had received £12 4s. 6 d. for extensive work in the Middeldale mine, was paid an additional 24 s. 6 d. ‘by way of gratuity (curialitatis) in amendment of the contract, because it was hard and deep,’ —though the auditor seems to have disallowed the grant. That the shafts were carried to a considerable depth is shown by an entry in 1329: ‘to Peter Colyn, Simon atte Lowe, 14 partners and 4 servants, for the cleaning and timbering of certain ways in the old mine, from the surface (a die) to a depth of 50 fathom, for the removal of a wall that blocked the

course of the water, through the rottenness and decay of the timber whereof the miners could not work and win ore,—£14 8 s. 10 d.’ Deep workings involved difficulties of drainage. These were dealt with partly by gangs of water-drawers (hauriatores aque), bailing with leather

bodges (bulge). They were employed spasmodically, according, no doubt, to the wetness of the season, sometimes only two or three being at | work, while at other times gangs of 24 or 36 are found; as for instance in 1333-1334, when their wages amounted to nearly £20, apart from the cost of tanned ox-hides for the bodges. They were paid 8 d. a week, and

Richard of Worcester, whose reduction in the payment for white ore suggests that he was bent on economy, made an agreement by which the miners paid half the wages of the drawers; but this arrangement did not continue after his death. Until the last years of the thirteenth century bailing had been the only method of draining the mines, and they had had to close down during the winter; but about 1296 the system of ‘avidods’

or adits, that is to say drainage tunnels driven from the bottom of the workings to the surface of the hillside, came into use, practically doubling the working season, and therefore the output.** An enquiry into the state

of the mine of Birland was held at Furshulle on 11 June 1327 by John de Stonore, with the abbot of Buckland, who had been controller a few years before, and Sir Roger de Pridias.*? The jury, which included Walter de Horsham who was overseer of the mine at the time, said that

the whole mine had been explored (scrutata) and worked to such a depth that the miners were prevented from working by the streams of water flowing into it; but that if a drain (aqueductus) were made from the mine to the sea, a distance of 500 fathom, at an estimated cost of £500, and if the old stopped-up workings (pute) were opened and repaired, which could also be done for £500, the mine would last for all time to the king’s profit, and more miners than ever could be employed there. The ** Salzman, Industries, p. 53.

°? Exch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, No. 13.

Mines and Stannaries 75 | estimated cost of this work seems excessive, and no such costly operations

were, or could reasonably be carried out. There are, however, constant references in the accounts to the making and repairing of adits and drains. In 1325 William de Dertemore and his partners undertook, for £20, the cleaning, repair, and timbering of the adit of the Middeldale, from the head of the adit to the shaft (forstull) of the old mine, a distance of 170 fathom. Next year Thomas Robyn and five other miners were paid 23 marks for the cleaning, repair and timbering of 8 old galleries (grovarum) at Furshull, which were broken down, and for the cleaning, making and

setting of gutters from the north shaft to the south shaft, and for the cleaning of four sumps (swmparum), or drainage pits, below the said gutters, to the bottom of the said mine. In 1328 there is a payment ‘for guttering 12 fathom to carry the water from the shaft (le forstowe) to the drain (aqueductum) in the old mine;’ and next year the head of the old adit at the Ermitage was cleared of rubbish and strengthened with timber. The 1332-1333 accounts mention the purchase of two wooden ‘gutters of alder for emptying the water,’ and also payments ‘to Walter

de Lytton and partners for piercing and breaking very hard rock in Redegrove and making a lamptorne** there,—6 s. 8 d.; and to Henry Wardelowe

and partners for making a certain machine called lamptorne for putting in gutters to divert the water at Redegrove,—12 s. 6 d. The Processes of Mining

The ore extracted from the mine was broken up with hammers and washed in buddles, or troughs; women often were employed on this work. It was then measured and carried to the boles to be smelted. The boles, of which there seem to have been two, one at Birland and the other at Buck-

land, were stone structures like lime-kilns. According to the inventory of 1325, they were movable (versatiles), and there are other, earlier references which imply that the furnaces were made so that they, or more probably some portion of them, could be turned round—presumably so as to catch the wind, on which they depended for their draught. The stone of which they were built was brought from Hingston in Cornwall, just across the river. The fuel used was brushwood and chips for kindling (in 1329 a woman was employed for two days ‘collecting le chippes for the better burning of the bole’). The ‘blocks’ of wood were burned, the arrangement of which was part of the boler’s duty; he was usually paid ‘for blocking (blockanti) and burning a bole.’ The ore was thrown into

the bole, with fresh fuel, from the top, and the molten lead collected in °° cannot explain this term.

76 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the hollow hearth; there seems to be nothing to show that it was run off, so it is probable that it was left there until the end of the smelting, when the ashes would be raked off and the mass of lead removed. The lead obtained at the boles was fertile, that is to say it contained silver. It was therefore handed over to the refiner for treatment. In the refining furnace a hearth was made of a thick bed of tan turves, or tan ashes, the refuse bark from tanneries, which was usually bought at Exeter. When the lead was in a molten condition the fire was raked off and a blast directed onto the surface of the lead, which was thus oxidized to litharge. The litharge was partly skimmed off and partly absorbed by the ash bed, leaving the silver. By the regulations of 1298, a small quantity of the lead was to be taken just before this oxidization and an assay made, the refiner being expected to produce an approximately equivalent proportion of silver; but there is no trace of this in the accounts, and one may doubt if it was done. The litharge was subsequently resmelted in a furnace (furnum, or more often furnellus), yielding sterile, 1.e., silverless, lead. The furnaces, which were more or less on the plan of a blacksmith’s fire,

with draught supplied by bellows, were also used for smelting black work, or slag, from the boles and from old workings. There are many references to the collection, breaking, and washing of such slag; and in 1326 William Coppynghod, the refiner, made an agreement by which he was to smelt and refine at his own expense, except for fuel, certain ac-

cumulations of slag from former workings in return for one third of the produce; his share came to £7 3 s. 9 d.

It is not clear how many furnaces there were on the mine field; a return made in 1325%* distinguishes at least two—one ‘by the water’ and the

other ‘the mill furnace’, or simply ‘the mill’, which occurs in 1333 as ‘le Slaggemill.’ But the accounts show only one fornellarius with three conflatores, who presumably worked the bellows in shifts. It seems, therefore,

that not more than one furnace was usually in operation at one time. The smelting operations were naturally spasmodic; the boles fired only when there was a sufficient accumulation of ore; the refiner depended upon

the boles for his material. During 1326 there were seven sessions of the refiners, making 49 hearths: the first week in April (6 hearths); 1 and 3

July (2); 1-5 September (4); 10-18 September (8); 24 September— 6 October (6); 13-30 October (10); 11 December—2 January (13). The usual amount of lead treated at each hearth was about 18 feet, that is to say, 1260 pounds, producing about £3 10 s. of silver. Between July 1328 and the middle of May 1329, three boles were burnt, each for a week; **Exch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, No. 12.

Mines and Stannaries 77 the refiner used 12 hearths; and the furnace-men worked 32 days; in the intervals the refiner was employed washing ore, but was paid at the comparatively high rate of 2 d. a day. During 1331 we find 5 boles, 24 hearths, and 96 days work at the furnaces. For all this work large quantities of fuel were required. In the boles this seems to have been entirely wood, the logs being usually called blocks, but occasionally trunks (¢runcas), which is the term invariably applied to those used in the refiner’s furnace. For the smelting of slag, the fuel was largely charcoal, and there are payments for burning it, for watching the smothers at night—not only to see that the wood charred properly but also to avoid danger of fire, as in 1331, when John Rede was paid 7 d. for ‘watching 2 charcoal pits during 4 nights and 3 holidays (dies festivales) on account of the great wind and the dryness of the season.” Women were also paid for carrying water to quench the charcoal; in 1329, for instance,

two cans (cann’) were bought, one for the refinery and the other for quenching charcoal, and 1 d. was paid ‘to Kydie’s wife, Maud, for one day carrying water to quench charcoal.’ Timber was also required for pit-props; so we find in 1326 ‘a bargeload of timber for timbering 8 galJeries (grovis) at Furshull’ carried from the wood of Efford to Helshole near the mine. In Derbyshire and Cumberland the miners had a prescriptive

right to take such timber as they required, but here this was not so, and there seems occasionally to have been trouble over obtaining a sufficient supply. Thus in July 1332 it was reported that the mines could not be properly worked for lack of wood. John de Stonore and John de Trevaignon, who had been appointed to make a general report on the conditions of the mines, were ordered to buy such wood as was required, where most convenient. If the owners would not sell, they should have it valued by a jury and take it at that price. The sheriff and Mathew de Crauthorn were ordered to assist them.?® Apparently they did nothing, as in February 1333 work was again said to be held up, and the sheriff of Devon was ordered to take wood where it would cause least inconvenience;

and Mathew was to have it carried to the mine and to pay for it.2* A similar order was given to the sheriff of Cornwall in June.?” Six years later, in 1339, the men of Cornwall and Devon were refusing to sell wood to the

new keeper of the mine, Gawin de Suthrop, and orders were given for the valuation and compulsory purchase of wood.?® An enquiry was there-

fore held and the jury stated that John de Ferers (of Beer Ferers) had a °° L.T.R.M.R., No. 104, m. 9. °° K.R.M.R., No. 109, m. 8. 87 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 52. 8° C.P.R. 1338-1340, 286.

78 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 wood called Halsire nearest to the mine on one side; it contained 200 acres, of which 60, measured by the forest perch of 18 feet, were set aside for the king’s use, at a valuation of 46 s. 8 d. the acre. On the other side, the abbot of Tavistock had the wood of Morwelham, containing 80 acres, of which 30 were selected, at 40 s. the acre.*®

Output and Revenue

We now come to the questions of the output of the Birland mines and of their importance as a source of revenue. During the last ten years | or so of the reign of Edward I, they had yielded a very substantial profit, but the richest veins had evidently been worked out, and for the period with which we are concerned it will be found that the mines were barely

paying their way. A tabulation of those returns for which there are sufficient details brings out certain points of interest. The ore, as delivered to the boler, after washing, was reckoned by the load (Jada), containing

9 dishes (disci), but there does not appear to be any statement of the contents of the dish. The standard dish made for the Derbyshire field in 1512, and still preserved at Wirksworth, contains about 60 pounds of ore; and, as the customs of the Devon mines seem largely based on those of Derbyshire, one may tentatively assume that the dishes were similar, and therefore that the load was approximately 5 hundredweight. The lead obtained from the ore was measured by the charre (carretata), or cartload, containing 24 feet (pedes), each foot containing 70 pounds; the charre therefore was 1680 pounds.*® The pound in this case was avoirdu-

pois, whereas the silver was reckoned in terms of the Tower, or money pound.

Exch. K.R. Ore Lead Silver Accts. Date Loads Dishes (fertile) (sterile)

262 Feet Feet £ s.d. 10 Nov. 1325 - July 1327 341 4 929 643 172. 4. 6 14 July 1328 - June 1329 49 4 159 110 52.15. 0

20 85 0 2334 1682 123.15. 27 March-Sept. Sept. 1332 - 1332 July 1333 6 0 144 121 49.9.45

July-Sept. 1333 47 I 1514 112 55.4.1 Sept. 1333 - Sept. 1334 6 «OS 1604 1184 53. 0. 2 Sept. 1334 - Feb. 1335 570 139 98 49.16. 4 712-5 ~=—«1916 «1371. 556. 4.10

From these figures it will be seen that a load of ore yielded approximately 2.7 feet, say 150 lb. of fertile lead, of which each pound yielded °° Cal. Misc. Ing., Il, 1650.

“°A cubic foot of lead weighs 710 pounds; this mine ‘foot’ would be equivalent to a square foot with a thickness of about 1% inch.

Mines and Stannaries 79 a minute fraction over 1 dwt. of silver. In 1297 it was stated that a load of black ore produced 3-314 feet of silver-lead, and a load of white ore 144 feet. Also, a pound of this lead from black ore yielded 2-3 dwt. of silver, a pound made from white ore 1144 dwt. It is evident that a considerable proportion of the ore now being worked was either white ore (carbonate) or black (galena) of poor quality, and, in particular, that the

silver content of the ore had fallen seriously. If, as may be the fact in some instances, a certain quantity of lead and silver recovered from the re-working of slag is included in these totals, the deterioration of the ore would be still more marked. Attention should also be called to the loss of lead during the process of cupellation, which amounts on the average

to something between a quarter and a third of the whole. As the sterile lead was sold at about 2 s. the foot, the 545 feet lost would be worth over £50.

We have now to consider the costs and profits of these mines. The receipts fall into three divisions: (a) issues of the mines, viz. silver and sterile lead; (b) extras, such as small sums from the sale of the loppings of timber; (c) grants from the exchequer, usually in the form of assignments from the revenues of the county, paid by the sheriff, or from such sources as subsidies, paid by the collectors. Thus, on 23 March 1330 Thomas de Stobhill, one of the collectors of the scutage in Devon for the

army of Scotland in 4 Edward II, was ordered to pay to Mathew de , Crauthorn, keeper of the king’s mine, £60 out of the money lately levied for that scutage since Mathew had no money to pay the miners’ wages and certain workmen threatened to leave unless their wages were speedily paid, and the king considered it difficult to send money to those parts.*? Six days later this amount was increased by an additional £40, as the £60 was not enough. Similarly, in 1335, the treasurer was ordered to deliver to Mathew de Crauthorn £60 or to cause him to have an assignment of that amount.*? In 1329 and 1332 the accounts show that Mathew de Crauthorn, as one of the collectors of a subsidy, paid himself, as keeper of the mine, £80 and £40 respectively; and in 1331 he similarly transferred

£120 from his accounts as sheriff to his mine account. It is obvious that these grants are in the nature of loans for the working of the mine and should figure on both sides of the account; and that if the issues under (a) and (b) do not exceed the expenses, the mines cannot be yielding a profit. That they were by this time a very doubtful investment is shown by the following tabulation: — °C.C.R. 1330-1331, 13. “2C.C.R. 1333-1337, 376.

80 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336

Acct. Silver Lead Extras Grants Expenses £ s.d. £s.d. £ s.d. £ s.d. £ s.d.

10 Nov. 1325-July 1327 188.7.6 60.414 5.70 193.6.8 201. 3. 54

14 July 1328-June 1329 52.15. 6 10.13.6 34 46.5.0 58.17. 6

18 Jan.-Sept. 1331 59. 5.7 13.13.0 8.0 120.00 212. 6.2 19 Sept. 1331-Feb. 1332 53.10. 84 12.14.0 1.0.0 160.0.0 61. 1.7 20 Feb.-Sept. 1332 81.12. 2 16.17.6 13.9 20.0.0 78. 1.10

27. Sept. 1332-July 1333 49.9.4 12. 2.0 5.0 1216.53 109.0. 0

July - Sept. 1333 55. 4. 1 10. 3.6 2.8 29.15. 5 Sept. 1333-Sept. 1334 51. 7. 6 11. 6.0 7.0 116.3.23 120. 4. 0

$91.11.103 147.13.74 8.6.9 777.14 870. 9.114 747.12.2

These figures show that the mines were not a paying proposition. Actually the position was worse than it appears, for the 1331 account, which is noticeable for its heavy deficit, is the only one in which the fees of the keeper and controller are entered. In 1328 the controller’s fee had been put down but was subsequently struck out. Apparently these fees had to be claimed separately. In 1335 Mathew de Crauthorn rendered his account at the exchequer for the period Michaelmas 1332 to 11 February 1335.

| No details are given, but it 1s stated that he owed £200 13 s. 7 d. against which he produced tallies of 8 June 1332 for £36 16 s. 8 d. and of 22 February 1334 for £42 18 s. 10 d. He claimed allowance of £86 10 s. for his fee of 2 s. a day during the whole period of 3 years and 135 days; and also £15 6 s. for the fee, of 12 d. a day, of Robert de Wythiford as controller down to 31 July 1933, being 306 days. He claimed as well £27 19 s. for Thomas de Stapelford as controller for the remaining year and 194 days. Payments and fees, therefore, exceeded his debt by £8 6s. 11 d. for the settlment of which he was given a day in the following Michaelmas term.** He did not render any further account until the autumn of 1338 when his accounts from 11 Feb. 1335 to 12 Oct. 1338 were audited by view of Thomas de Stapelford, controller. Again we are simply told that

he owed £146 1 s. and that against this he claimed, and was allowed, £145 19 s. as wages of himself and the controller, reducing his debt to 2 s.**

The economic condition of the mines was probably obscured by the casual way in which the accounts were rendered to the exchequer. Mathew de Crauthorn seems to have allowed intervals of over two years to elapse between his appearances in the exchequer. Although Richard of Worcester died on 29 March 1327, his account was still unsettled in 1332, when John le Fleming appeared as the attorney of Sir Baldwin de Fryvill, William de Bradewell of Worcester, John de Eston, clerk, and Henry of Worces*8L.T.R.M.R., No. 107, m. 164. **L.T.R.M.R., No. 110, m. 133 d.

Mines and Stannaries 81 ter, clerk, who were sureties of Richard. John de Eston was also the controller, by whose rolls the account was checked.** Richard was charged

| with a debt of £320 12 s. Against this were set various allowances. First, £120 in bullion and money given by him to Queen Isabel. This claim is borne out by an entry on the Close Rolls of an order made 10 February

1327 to the treasurer to allow Richard of Worcester on his account £102 14 s. for bullion, and £17 6 s. for money, which he delivered to Queen Isabel at the king’s command.** ‘Then there was a sum of £11 9 s. 7¥, d. paid, as appears by tallies, to certain miners as arrears of their wages from the time when Thomas de Sweynseye was keeper.*” Subsequently,

after an adjournment, a further claim was made for £40 17 s. 44 d. for bullion delivered at the receipt of the exchequer in 1326, and upon examining the receipt rolls it was found that he had delivered ingots (platas) of silver weighing £41 8 s. by the weight of the London exchange, and valued by Master Robert Haselshawe, master of the mint, at £40 17 s. 4 d. being evidently slightly below standard purity. ‘They also claimed £49 5s. 6 d. for his wages as keeper of the mine from 10 June 1325 to

29 March 1327, at 18 d. a day (though the keepers before and after him | received 2 s. a day). This left a debt of £98 19 s. 74% d. of which the sheriff of Worcestershire was ordered to collect £80, and the sheriff of London £18 19 s. 7% d. At the same session of the exchequer, it was stated that when the next keeper, James Prygg, died (in July 1328) he had in his possession two ingots worth £17 10 s. which came into the hands of John de Colecote of Barnstaple, according to an inquest held in 1330.*° John, however, appeared and denied ever having had them, and the sheriff

was ordered to summon a jury of 28 persons to discover the truth, but with what result does not appear. There was evidently some uneasiness about the reduction in the yield of the mines, as in June 1329 orders were given for an enquiry into the state of the mine, to ascertain if there were any defects, and if so from what cause and by whose default.*° Similar orders were given in July 1332, and in July 1335, but whether any returns were made, and if so what the findings were, is not known.°® The truth, that the mines were barely paying their way, or actually being run at a loss, was probably 4° K.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 319. “°C.C.R. 1327-1330, 6.

‘Thomas de Sweynseye’s account for the working of the mine in 26 Edw. I was apparently still not cleared up in 1330, judging from certain entries on the Pipe Roll,

4 Edw. HI, Devon. “8 K.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 232. 4° K.R.M.R., No. 105, m. 9.

501 T.R.MR., No. 104, m. 9; No. 107, m. 9 d.

82 The English Governiment at Work, 1327-1336 further obscured by the fact that the payments for their support were not as a rule, as already shown, made from the exchequer, but merely deducted from local revenues; the silver produced in the mines, on the other hand, made a tangible appearance at the mint in the form of ingots. Without disparaging the financial ability of the exchequer clerks, who must have been men of genius if they could follow the tangled threads of their own accounting, one cannot help feeling that an occasional solid lump of silver, in lieu of book entries and tallies, must have had a moral effect out of proportion to its value. Something of this seems to be suggested by an entry made on the memoranda roll on 28 July 1330: ‘note

that Mathew de Crauthorn, keeper of the king’s mine of Birland, has admitted that he has brought to London and has in his possession an ingot

of silver weighing £15 17 s. 6 d. Order that he is not tu leave the Court until he has handed over the said ingot to the Treasury.’> In most of the accounts there is simply a note of the number and value of the plates or ingots of silver sent up to the exchange, with an occasional

entry of the cost of sending them; but in the account of Richard of Worcester (1325-7), there are some interesting details; ‘expenses of Thomas Robyn, riding (equitis), carrying, and conveying 3 ingots of blanched (aldi, 1.e., refined) silver from the king’s mine to London and delivering them to the treasurer and chamberlains of the exchequer, 10 May 1326, going, staying and returning, for 16 days,°* at 7 d. a day for himself and his horse,—9 s. 4d. Expenses of two archers on foot going with him, for the same time, each of them 3 d. a day,—8 s. Also expenses of Sir James de Edenburgh, chaplain, and Thomas Robyn, riding, carrying,

and conveying from the mine to London 6 ingots of blanched silver in bulk (im massa), which were delivered to the queen by the king’s writ of chancery, each of them for himself and his horse 7d. for 15 days,—17 s. 6d. Expenses of 3 archers on foot going with them for their protection, at 3 d. a day,—11 s. 3 d.’ In 1328-9 we are told ‘because the king at that time had no exchange at the Tower of London, therefore he (Walter de Salop) accounts for sales made elsewhere; namely, at London, 28 Nov., £13 of blanched silver; and for sale made at Exeter, 29 Jan., £8 15 s.; and for sale to John de Hengeston, £15 of blanched silver for £15 of money; also for sale to William de Ecworthi®* £4 5 s of blanched silver for £4 Ss.

of money; also for sale to William de Ferrers, knight, £9 of blanched 5. K R.M.R., No. 106, m. 207.

*? Allowing for one day in London, this is equivalent to a steady 30 miles a day. Pretty good marching for the men on foot. che min was of Tavistock and figures as one of the larger purchasers of lead from

Mines and Stannaries 83 silver for £9 of money, for the support of the mine. Also for sale to Mathew de Crauthorn, 55 s. of blanched silver. Total—£52 15 s.’ As the purchase of silver bullion for its equivalent in money could hardly be a profitable business transaction, it may be assumed that these items were really in the nature of payments; the last item of 55 s. was no doubt simply handed over to Mathew as the new keeper of the mine. Although the ingots were usually of standard fineness, as in this last account, and therefore equivalent in weight to the same weight of money, the refiner was sometimes not quite so accurate. Thus in 1330 there is an entry of ‘£40 1s. 9 d. from 4 ingots weighing £40 9 s. 4 d. sold at the London exchange, deducting 1 d. in the pound and 3 d. on the whole.’ In 1333 there was ‘£25 2s. 5 d. for 5 ingots weighing by the weight of the ‘Tower and of the mine £26 10 s. 9 d.’ The refiner at this time seems to have been either careless or less skilful than usual, for in the accounts for 1333-4, although four lots of ingots passed at their face value, we find: £3 16s. 8 d. for an ingot weighing £4 3 s. 4 d.; £3. 15 s. for one weighing £4 3s.; £7 15 s. for a weight of £8; and 106 s. for a weight of 110 s. On the other hand, occasionally the standard of fineness was exceeded. So, in 1331, there was a note of ‘6 s. 8 d. additional (de incremento) on the sale of four small ingots weighing £4, at 20 d. the pound,’ and next year similar additions of 20 d. in the pound were made in two instances. The lead, owing to its weight and bulk, was not sent up to London, but was sold locally, usually at 48 s. the charre, or 2 s. the foot, though occasionally as low as 22 d. or 20 d. the foot. It 1s interesting to note that much of the lead was bought by groups of miners, such as ‘Thomas Robyn and partners, Walter de Dertemore and partners, and Walter de Warlouwe and partners, water-drawers. It is difficult to name any retail price for lead at this time, as the cost of carriage played so large a part in the determina-

tion of the price, but it is clear that considerable profit could be made on it. There was the further advantage to the keeper of the mine that he could set off the lead against the wages of the miners, and to the miners that they were more certain of getting the lead, which was there, than the cash, which sometimes was not. There was another royal lead-silver mine which had at one time been of some importance, at Combe Martin. The crown had ceased to work

it, but in 1325 Adam de Strode leased it for 2 years at a rent of 20 marks, which apparently he never paid. Philip de Columbers seems then to have applied for a lease of the mine, for on 2 March 1327 an enquiry was held by the sheriff. The jury said that it would not be to the damage of the king or of other persons (they might have added ‘except Philip de Columbers!’) if the king granted to Philip de Columbers his mine within

84 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the said Philip’s manor of Combe Martin for such a rent as others had been wont to pay for it. They said that the profits of the mine consisted in lead and silver, and that it was worth in all 10 marks, yearly. Adam de Strode

had been holding it and paying 20 marks, but the mine was much deteriorated from what it used to be, as the miners showed, because a great

part of the mine was drowned through the immense quantity of water which came in and disturbed the miners, and also because many veins were completely worked out.°* Philip de Columbers then took it on lease

for 4 years, but evidently found that it did not pay, as at the end of October 1328 he gave up his lease and handed the mine over to the sheriff.°> During the time that he held it, he paid only £2 10 s. 8 d. out of the £20 due.®® The exchequer accountants, disregarding the

discharge granted him when he surrendered his lease, went on entering a rent of 20 marks yearly against him on the Pipe Rolls, until in 1336 the amount outstanding was £110 16 s., to which is appended a note,—‘of the said sum, he ought not to be summoned for £92.5.4¥, due from 29 October [1328] to Michaelmas following and the six following years, as he surrendered the mine into the king’s hands on the said 29 October.’°* The mine seems to have lain derelict after Philip gave it up.

On 25 June 1332, the king wrote to the treasurer and barons of the exchequer: ‘we send you a petition presented by Richard Cruz. Inform yourselves of the facts and of all that concerns us therein. If you find that Richard is willing to give us 20 marks yearly more than any other has hitherto done for the mine, take sufficient surety for his answering for the sum, and Jet him have the mine for a term of ten years in form aforesaid, if you think it to our profit.’** Unfortunately no hint is given as to the identity of the mine, and I have been unable to trace the speculator. Probably the authorities decided that he was unlikely to pay the rent and therefore did no more in the matter. A few months later, on 19 October 1332, the king wrote:—

‘Because we understand that silver ore (mina) has lately been found at Haghelond in Lobbecombe in the hamlet of Newenham beside Plympton, from which ore it is believed that great profit may come to us, we, desiring to see to our advantage in this matter, and having full confidence in the approved fidelity of our trusty Mathew de Crauthorn, have appointed the said Mathew to make an examination of the ore and to employ the workmen necessary for digging °*Ing. ad quod damnum, File 192, No. 10. 5 C.C.R., 1330-1333, 223.

°° Pipe Roll, 2 Edw. III. °' Pipe Roll, 9 Edw. III. °° K.R.M.R., No. 108, m. 143.

Mines and Stannaries 85 and examining the said ore and for working it as may seem most for our ad-

vantage; so that the said Mathew answer for the issues thereof to our exchequer. ’°°

A detailed account followed of Mathew’s expenses in carrying out the investigation, from 16 November to 26 January. Peter Adam, Richard de Houelond, and Richard de Bonteshale, whose names are prominent in the Birland accounts, and seven other miners were employed from 16 November to 26 December, and Simon atte Lowe with eight others from 11 to 26 January; each was paid 1% d. a day, with an additional 40 s. for piercing and sinking 12 fathom, at 3 s. 4 d. the fathom. They obtained 3 loads, 7 dishes of ore, which was smelted by Robert Fill and Adam de Lychefeld, the Birland furnace-men. The total yield was two small ingots of the weight and value of 3 s. 4 d., ‘and of sterile lead, nothing, because it was all consumed in the fire.’ It is not surprising that no more is heard of this mine.

Next year attention was directed to another part of the country. The king had been informed by Geoffrey le Scrop that ore of copper, mixed with gold and lead, had been found in the land of Robert Brown in Shropshire. He wished to know the circumstances of the find, whether anyone had removed any of it, and if so how much, and how he could best take advantage of it. He therefore ordered John de Ingge (or, Jugge ?) and Henry de Bisshebury to go and hold an enquiry, for which purpose the sheriff was instructed to summon a jury.®° The rest is again silence. Early references to the working of copper ores in England are remarkably rare. It makes a single appearance in the Birland accounts of 1328, when William le Wower was paid 4 d. for two days’ work making the furnace to smelt copper, 2 d. for one day smelting copper, and another 4 d. for two days refining it; his three blowers receiving 1 d. each for the smelting. The 126 pounds of copper produced was said to come de exitu nigrorum operum coperos, and, as there is no reference to digging it, presumably it was all from some old slag-heap, possibly not actually at Birland. Of this copper 100 pounds was sold at 3 d. the pound, and the other 26 pounds at 2% d. There is also an entry in the same accounts of 5 d. paid ‘for 2 pounds

of copper for mixing with the blanched silver in the refining, because it annihilates and destroys the lead and makes the silver pure in itself,’ but no trace has been found of its use on other occasions, and the statement appears to be metallurgically doubtful. Gold makes no appearance in the English mining annals of the ten °° Exch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, No. 24. °° K.R.M.R., No. 109, m. 6.

86 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 years with which we are concerned, except for its alleged existence in Shropshire, as just related; but Edward II’s treasurer, Walter de Stapeldon, bishop of Exeter, seems to have believed in its existence in paying quantities within his diocese. In July 1326 he advised a search for gold in the tin workings of Devon anu UCoriiwati, undertaking to defray the cost himself if it were not successful. William de Somerhill therefore was appointed to conduct such a search, and orders were issued that the tinners should not wash tin except in the presence of him or his deputies.*? Such interference with the right of the very independent class of tinners would probably not have been tolerated, but the murder of Stapeldon in London some three months later put an end to the scheme. Two years before, in October 1324, John de Wylringworth, goldsmith, was sent from Bury St Edmund’s to the Devon stannaries to search for gold. He was there for about a month, during which time he collected 22 dwt. of gold; of this he refined

3 dwt. at Exeter in the bishop’s presence in the following Easter week, producing a lump of pure gold weighing 24% dwt. The rest he carried up to York, where the exchequer was, and refined it in the presence of the chancellor and barons of the exchequer, at Michaelmas 1328, producing 171% dwt. of pure gold, which was handed over to the chamberlains to be kept in a box.®” It seems to have been regarded as a curiosity. Turning to the mines which were worked on a percentage basis, we have in the extreme north of England the lead-silver mines of Alston Moor in Cumberland.** Here there was a royal mine field, from the free miners of which the king received the ninth dish of ore—defined as ‘as much ore as a strong man can raise from the ground’—and the fifteenth penny from the other eight dishes. During the twelfth century these mines were prolific, and were farmed out for as much as £100; subsequently they seem to have been attached to the bailiwick of the sheriff, who paid a regular fee

of 10 marks yearly for the mines all through the reign of Henry III.* This fee was charged against the sheriff in 1329, but not paid;®* and two years later there is on the Pipe Roll the entry: ‘[blank] de mznera regis de Aldeneston [blank]. Et de eadem de xlv annis preteritis [blank].’ There seems to be no trace of any issues from this source during the period 13271337. Yet the miners were apparently there, as on 27 October 1334, the king, being then at York, exemplified at the request of the miners of Alston the letters patent of 7 February 21 Henry III, giving them protection, as % C.F.R. III, 401.

*? Exch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, No. 2; K.R.M.R., No. 105, m. 109. °° See, Salzman, /ndustries, 42-44, V.C.H. Cumberland, Ml, 339.

** Cumberland Pipe Rolls (Cumberland and Westmorland Ant. Soc.) °° Pipe Roll, 3 Edw. IIL

Mines and Stannaries 87 the originals had been burnt by the Scots.®* Moreover, in October 1336 the king granted to Queen Philippa, in return for certain lands which she gave up, a rent of 10 marks from the mines of Alston Moor; the grant was made after an enquiry in which the jurors unfortunately contented themselves

with the mere statement that it would not be to the king’s detriment to do so, without commenting on the existence of this rent or the method of its collection.®” If one is correct in believing that the Alston mines were practically non-existent at the time, it was an under-statement to say that the proposed exchange of a hypothetical rent for solid lands would be ‘not detrimental’ to the king. Attempts to re-start mining in those parts had been made. In 1324 Richard Campion and Thomas de Allemaigne had been appointed to dig, cleanse, and examine the king’s mines in Cumberland and Westmorland.® They were to pay the ninth load of ore to the sheriff; but no report on these operations had been received by 1338.*° In October 1331 the same Richard Campion and Robert de la Forde were appointed, or rather licensed, to search and dig, at their own expense, silver and lead in the districts of Minerdale and Silverbeck (Cumberland) and Harcla (Westmorland); Robert de Barton was appointed keeper of these mines and receiver of their issues—presumably the customary ninth dish and fifteenth penny. But when Barton was called to account in 1334, he said that he had received nothing, as Richard and Robert did not conduct any such search

or dig.”

Of the important Derbyshire lead field, there appears to be absolutely

no trace during the early years of Edward II. Under earlier kings, the crown had obtained a considerable revenue from the exploitation of these mines or the lease of their issues. Mining had been carried on in this district continuously since Roman days and the miners had acquired many privileges, such as the right of prospecting and staking out claims, taking timber and fuel, using of water for their work, and the right to trial in their own mine court. In return they were bound to give the king every thir-

teenth dish of ore, and he had the right of pre-emption of the lead produced. The silver content of this Derbyshire lead was too low to be worth extracting. Possibly for this reason Edward I did not, apparently, think these mineral rights worth retaining and allowed them to be annexed to the palatine earldom (afterwards duchy) of Lancaster. Immediately after °° C\P.R. 1334-1338, 31.

*T Ing. ad quod damnum, File 238, No. 19. °° CPLR. 1321-1324, 414.

8° L.T.R.M.R., No. 110, m. 107. 7 K.R.M.R., No. 110, m. 150 d.

88 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the fall of Thomas of Lancaster in 1322, when his lands were seized into the king’s hands, the Wirksworth mines were administered for the crown and between March and Michaelmas produced just under two hundred pounds worth of lead. Of this, most came from 621 loads of ore bought from the miners at various prices, usually 1 s. 6 d., but ranging from 2 s. 6 d.

down to 12 d., or even 9 d.; the lot, or tribute ore, from the thirteenth (or. twelfth) dish amounted to 68 loads.71 The restoration of the Lancaster estates to Earl Henry put the mines again outside the control of the crown. Another mining community from which the crown drew profits was

that of the free miners of the forest of Dean, one of the chief centres of iron-mining in the early Middle Ages.” Here, as on the Derbyshire lead field, the free miners had the right to dig where they chose except in churchyards, gardens, and orchards. They worked in small gangs, usually of four ‘verns’, or partners; the king, or other lord of the soil, was also a partner and entitled to a share. Every miner who raised three loads of ore in a week paid a penny to the royal bailiff, or gaveller; and if the king had

any forges working in the forest the miners had to supply ore for them at a penny a load; there was also an export duty of a halfpenny a load on all ore exported from the forest. For some reason, however, the first half of the fourteenth century is practically a complete blank so far as the forest is concerned, with the exception of a single return made in 1341 in which the profit from the mines and forges is given as £34.7* The only other reference seems to be an order made in June 1328, and repeated in February 1332, that the keepers of the forest of Dean should pay a tithe of the profit of the king’s mine of iron in the parish of Newland to the bishop of Llandaff, who held the appropriation of the church."*

The Stannaries While the value of the silver mines as a source of crown revenues was very doubtful, the importance of the stannaries, or tin mines, was unquestionable.”* As the revenue from the tin was entirely in the shape of dues, there were no charges for working the mines and the expenses were negligible. On the other hand the output was large and valuable and the crown’s share represented a substantial sum. ‘Tin is a metal that is very strictly localized, and the deposits of the Cornish peninsula had been one of the great sources of supply, not only for England but for the Continent, since ™ V.C.H. Derbyshire, I, 328-330. 7 See, Salzman, Industries, 37: V.C.H. Gloucester, II, 219-223.

(Boston, 1908). , Henry G. Nicholls, Personalities of the Forest of Dean, p. 21. ™C.C.R. 1327-1330, 296; Ibid., 1330-1333, 443.

For a general history of the tin mines in England see, G. R. Lewis, The Stannaries

Mines and Stannaries 89 pre-Roman days. The ore worked in early mediaeval times was that deposited, sometimes to a depth of twenty feet or more, in the beds of streams in Devon and Cornwall and could be dug with the simplest of tools. After digging it had to be washed to remove impurities, and it was at the washing that the ore was divided when a claim was worked by partners, as was

a common practice, and the tribute or share of the lord of the soil apportioned; it was here, and here only, that ore might be bought by dealers.

When the ore had been smelted the tin had to be taken to one of the appointed centres and there weighed and coined, or marked with the king’s

stamp. Until this had been done and the coinage dues paid, or at least recorded as owing, no tin might be sold for use or export. By the end of the twelfth century the tinners were already a recognised community, with old-established privileges, under the direct control of a warden appointed by the king, but practically outside the jurisdiction of other royal officials. From 1231 to 1300, the stannaries were in the hands of the earls of Cornwall, but in 1305, soon after their resumption by the crown, a charter was issued by Edward I confirming the privileges of the tinners; on 6 August 1327 Edward III confirmed this charter—or rather

these charters, as one was issued for Cornwall and another, identical mutatis mutandis, for Devon."® By these the tinners actually working in the stannaries on the royal demesne were quit of pleas of villeinage and of all pleas in royal courts, and should answer only before the warden, except in pleas touching land or life and limb. They should be compelled to leave their work only if summoned through the warden, and were quit of all tallages, tolls, subsidies, etc. throughout the county. They might dig for tin anywhere (except in churchyards, gardens, and orchards), might cut turf for smelting, and also buy wood; they might divert streams, in order to dig in the beds or for the washing of their ore. ‘The tin was to be weighed and stamped, before Michaelmas, at Lostwithiel, Bodmin, Liskeard, ‘Truro, or Helston for Cornwall, and at Tavistock, Ashburton, and Chagford for Devon. After the coinage had been paid the tinners might sell their tin to whom they pleased, unless the king chose to exercise his right of preemption. The privileges of the tinners were sufficiently important to lead men to claim that status on grounds that were occasionally very flimsy. This was

particularly so in the evasion of taxation, and the disputes culminated in 1376 in a demand presented to the king in parliament by the commons of Cornwall and Devon that the terms of the charters should be defined, whether they applied only to actual working tinners or to the capitalists 7° Cal. Char. R., Ill, 53; Ibid., IV, 53.

90 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 who employed them and to their servants; whether permanently, or only while they were working in the stannaries; and whether in all places or only on what were the demesnes of the crown when Edward I granted the charters.’” Earlier than this, the parliamentary grant in 1334 of a subsidy of a tenth and a fifteenth led to a complaint from the poor commons of Devon that they had to pay the whole amount assessed on the county, | because the stannary men claimed to be exempt from such taxation by their

charters and in return for a certain rent, and many wealthy men had recently made themselves tinners in order to defraud the king. Following the grant in 1337 of a similar subsidy for three years, a commission was issued

on 6 March 1338 for an enquiry as to certain persons claiming to be stannary men, as to when they became so, and what the ‘certain rent’ was.’® Similar commissions were issued in February and July 1343;7° but

nothing seems to have been done until March 1346, when an enquiry was held at Exeter and the jury stated that all the persons named on the rolls sent in to the exchequer were true tinners ‘working in the stannaries

of Devon in person or by their servants hired for the purpose,’ except Philip de Taunton, Roger Taunteser, Henry Mannyng, John Daumerle, William Stevenes, and Robert Driew, who pretended to be tinners and were not.®° The rolls for the subsidy of 1337 show that the total sum assessed on the county was £953 15 s. of which £47 8 s. was charged against

305 ‘true tinners’ and £5 18 s. 6 d. against 31 persons of whom it is said ‘he pretends to be a tinner but does not work.’®* Of these ‘feigned tinners’

John Daumerle occurs in four places (including Fleet Daumarle and Sydenham Daumarle), and Oliver de Wybbury in three, though both were evidently considerable landed proprietors. A later roll, for 1339, makes no distinction between feigned and true tinners; apparently they all successfully evaded the tax, as they all subsequently appear on the exannual roll, to which desperate debts were transferred by the exchequer accountants.*” These rolls show the distribution of the tinners. The chief centres were the ancient demesne of South Tawton, where there were 73 true and 11 feigned tinners, and the boroughs of Ashburton, 22 and 8, and Tavistock, 19 and 3; no other vills had more than 8 names. Between 1337 and 1339

there seems to have been a burst of activity round Buckland and Peter Tavy, as the number of tinners in Roborough hundred rose from 16 to 98; but their total assessment rose only from 21 s. to 53 s. as they were "7 Rot. Parl. Ul, 343. 7° C\P.R. 1338-1340, 71. 7° Ibid., 1343-1345, 73, 165.

°° Lay Subsidy, 95/15. ** Lay Subsidy, 95/12. ®? Exannual Roll, 4.

Mines and Stannaries 91 mostly poor men, assessed at only from 2 d. to 6 d. each. It is possibly an indication of the decay of the Devon stannary that, although the number of tinners had risen in two years to something like 400, their assessment had fallen from £53 6s. 6 d. in 1337 to £44 15 s. 4d. in 1339. Unfortunately comparative figures for Cornwall are not available. A petition of 1314 against the alleged malpractises of Antonio de Pessaigne, the Genoese financier to whom Edward II handed over the stannaries, asserts that, as a result of his oppressive actions, the numbers of the tinners had fallen from 3000 to 500;** but documents of this sort are notoriously inaccurate. It might seem that the payments for ‘tribulage,’ which was supposed to be a tax of a halfpenny on every man working with a shovel (tribula), would give an approximate figure; but these payments had become stereotyped at

20 s. for the stannary of Penwith and Kerrier, and 10 s. 3 d. for that of Blackmore, and so remained until the Black Death.** This suggests that about the beginning of Edward’s reign there were rather over 700 working tinners in these districts; to which must be added an uncertain number for the two smaller stannaries of ‘ywarnhail and Foweymore, which did not

pay tribulage, and another uncertain number for the tinners who did not actually wield the shovel. We shall probably not be far out if we reckon that there were in Cornwall about a thousand persons entitled to rank as tinners.

In the twelfth century the Devon stannaries were more prolific than those of Cornwall. During John’s reign the royal dues in Devon were farmed out at £100, and those of Cornwall at 100 marks. The tithe payable to the bishop of Exeter from Cornwall was therefore £6 13 s. 4 d., and at

this figure it remained after the crown had resumed the issues and was drawing well over £2000 a year from them. The bishop tried to claim the full tithe in 1317, but, although a commission of enquiry was appointed, he was evidently unsuccessful as the later accounts show that the payment remained unaltered.*® Meanwhile the rich Devon deposits were becoming exhausted, and Cornwall had far outstripped the neighbouring county in importance. Unfortunately, owing to the farming out of the Devon stannaries, there are no figures available for estimating the output of tin in that

county during the period 1327-1337; but, judging from those given by Lewis for the beginning and end of the fourteenth century, the output of Devon was not more than a tenth of that of Cornwall.8® For Cornwall the records are fairly full after December 1330, when Queen Isabel surren°° Rot. Parl., I, 308. ** G. R. Lewis, The Stannaries, p. 267. °° C.P.R. 1313-1317, 697.

°° G. R. Lewis, The Stannaries, App. J.

92 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 dered the county, which she had been holding. With the exception of the first and last entries, the returns are for a full year from Michaelmas:

Dec. 1330 - 29 Jan. 1331 98,746 pounds.”

1331-2 1,643,548 pounds.*® 1332-3 1,425,918 pounds.®* 1333-4 1,303,358 pounds.” 1334-5 1,492,886 pounds.”*

1335-6 1,490,024 pounds.”

Mich. 1336-3 March 1337 352,792 pounds. Coinage

The dues payable to the crown, apart from certain small items which will be dealt with later, had by this time been consolidated into a single payment for coimage, the stamping of the blocks of tin with the royal mark, without which it might not be sold. For this the payment in Cornwall was £2 the thousandweight or 4 s. the hundred—which was 100 pounds and not, as Lewis states, 120 pounds.®* In Devon, for some obscure

reason, the charge was 15 s. 7% d. the thousand or 1834 d. the hundred, which in this county was 120 pounds.®* The average yield to the crown, therefore, was about £2600 from Cornwall and £100 farm from Devon. By the charters of 1305, the coinage towns for Devon were Tavistock, Ashburton, and Helston. But at the beginning of the reign of Edward III

the Devon tinners petitioned that Plympton might be substituted as a coinage town, as ‘lavistock was far from the sea and the cost of carriage to the sea was considerable, so that merchants would rarely go there. An

enquiry was held, and the jury said that tin could be sold for 6 s. 8 d. more the thousandweight at Plympton than at Tavistock, owing to the cost of transport, and that the change would benefit merchants and others.®® Consequently, on 1 March 1328, orders were issued for the change to be made.°° In Cornwall during the period under study only Lostwithiel and Truro functioned as coinage towns. The coinage rolls for 1332 and 1333 show in each year nine sessions at Lostwithiel and four at Truro, at various, apparently arbitrary, dates." In 1332 at Lostwithiel 157 persons appeared, °*7 Pipe Roll, 5 Edw. III.

*° [bid.. 6 Edw. I; Min. Accts., 811/18. °° Pipe Roll, 8 Edw. III. °° Thid.

"1 Ibid. 9 Edw. Ill. %2 Thid. :

°° G. R. Lewis, The Stannaries, App. J. °4 Min. Accts., 1094/13. °° Ing. a.q.d., 194/12. °° CO.P.R. 1327-1330, 240.

°7 Fxch. Accts. (K.R.), Bundle 262, Nos. 21, 22, 25-29.

Mines and Stannaries 93 mostly only once, but some on as many as five dates; at Truro there are 83 persons, of whom three came at all four sessions, and many, including these three, appear several times under one date. Against each name is entered not only the total amount but the number of parcels, usually consisting of from three to five blocks (pecie), and their weight. A typical entry is that of Gerard Avery at Lostwithiel on 9 December:—he has 3 blocks weighing 780 pounds, 4 of 602, 4 of 558, 4 of 660, 5 of 616, 4 of 576, 5 of 640, 5 of 608, 5 of 660, 5 of 660, 5 of 660, 4 of 660, making 7680 pounds. It will be found that this addition proves the statement made above

that the Cornish hundred was the short hundred of five score. The first entry of the earl of Cornwall, on 21 May, contains no fewer than 203 parcels, mostly of five blocks weighing about 600 pounds, and the usual weight of a parcel is from 600 to 660 pounds. The reason for this division into parcels seems to be simply that the available weights amounted to only 660 pounds (the first parcel mentioned under Gerard Avery is probably either a mistake or two taken together). ‘This appears from an entry on the close rolls®® of June 1325, when orders were given to make new weights for the tin and send them to Cornwall, because the old, made in the time of Richard, king of Almain, earl of Cornwall (d. 1272), were deteriorated by age and by carriage from town to town, the same set being used at Lostwithiel and ‘Truro. Moreover they had been deliberately falsified by William de Monketon, sheriff and warden of the stannary under Earl Edmund (1285); for this act he and Benet Renward, the receiver, were very heavily fined, but the false weights had continued to be used. There were two weights of 200 pounds each, one of 100, two of 50, one each of 32, 16, 8, and 4; they were to agree with the London standard. A study of the coinage rolls of 1332 brings out certain points of interest.

Of the 157 persons named at Lostwithiel, 17 presented less than one thousandweight, and 41 between one and two thousand; at Truro out of 83 persons, the figures are 18 and 21 respectively. The retail price of tin in London at this time was about 244 d. the pound. Of this, a halfpenny was represented by the coinage dues; if a penny is allowed for the cost of carriage and the merchant’s profit, the utmost that is left for the tinner is about £4 on the thousand, which is equivalent to about 3 d. a day for his labor. The tinner who produced 1000 pounds in the year was therefore on a footing with a mason or carpenter in regular employ. Some support is given to this deduction by the price named by the duke in 1346 as being fair to the people, namely, 22 d. the ‘foot’, or £3 4 s. the thousand.°® A complaint in 1342 on behalf of the duke states that ‘whereas °° C.C.R. 1323-1327, 300.

°° The Black Prince’s Register, I, 26, 80.

94 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the tinners of Cornwall work tin when and where they will, and sell it, receiving the whole profit, saving to the lord of the soil a render of a tenth and to the duke the coinage, now Michael de Treneweth and certain others

have usurped divers stannaries and compel men to work them for little more than a penny every other day, whereas the tin won by a man daily is worth 20 d.’*°° Making the necessary allowance for the over-statement common to all such complaints, we may suggest that a successful tinner

made a fairly steady 4 s. a week, which on the above reckoning, would represent an output of something like three thousandweight. It may therefore be assumed that most of those in the two lowest classes were actual working tinners; and to these two classes belonged, as has been shown, rather over a third of the total number on the Cornish coinage rolls. From rolls on either side of our dates, it is clear that in Devon the proportion of small parcels presented was very much greater; at both the beginning and the end of the fourteenth century almost the whole list of the Devon names represent working tinners, many of whom must also have practised agriculture or some other industry for their support.” At the other end of the scale we have at Lostwithiel 19 persons presenting between 5 and 10 thousands, 9 between 10 and 20, and 10 over 20; of these, the earl of Cornwall was responsible for 157,466 pounds and Roger Blake of Bodmin for 103,909 pounds. The respective figures at Truro are 7, 6, and 4; the earl figures again with 31,516 pounds, Ralph Coulyng with about 83,000 pounds, and John Melior with over 91,000 pounds. All the persons in these three classes may be regarded as capitalists,

either merchants or landowners, who bought the ore and metal of the smaller tinners.

The small men, living from hand to mouth, could not afford to wait during the two, or even four, months which intervened between coinages, to say nothing of the journeys to the coinage towns and the charges for storing the tin. Some arrangement for storage was presumably made at each coinage town. In March 1331 a grant for life was made to William Pasford and ‘Thomas Queynt of two buildings called ‘le Blouynghous’ and ‘le Weghynghous’ in Lostwithiel, and the king’s great hall with its cellar, with the keeping of the prison in the same hall, and the pesage of tin, for a yearly rent of 24s. Provision was made that the king and his officials should have easements of weighing the tin in the ‘Blouynghous,’ where the tin (presumably the black tin, or ore,.before smelting) was wont to be weighed,

and of storing the tin within the precincts of the buildings until security be found for the coinage dues and satisfaction made to the king for 100 CPLR. 1340-1343, 553.

192 G. R. Lewis, The Stannaries, 187.

Mines and Stannaries 95 old debts of coinage by the attachment of tin there. The merchants of the district were also to have their easements to put and keep their tin there after the weighing thereof until they wish to move it. The grantees were to maintain the thatching, walls, and fences of the buildings.*°? An inquisition ad quod damnum,'** made before this grant, as far back as 1325, states that the repairs to the buildings cost on an average 5 marks yearly, and that there was a fee of 20 s. payable out of the pesage of the weigher. Unfortunately there is no clue to the amounts of the pesage, or weighing dues, or of the charges for storing tin, from which the grantees must have made their profits. It should be noticed that the terms of this grant imply that many of the coinage dues were not paid at the tume of stamping. In the tin trade, as throughout medieval commerce, credit played a very large part. Many of the tinners, and even of the merchants, could not pay their dues until they had sold their tin, and many, it 1s evident, did not pay them even then. In April 1337, the king granted the petition of Andrew Hammely that, as he was impoverished, he might pay off the £100 which he owed for coinage in yearly instalments of £20.*°* The Pipe Rolls show another member of the family, John Hammely, in 1334 owing £38 for coinage, of which he paid 4 marks that year and another 5 marks the next. The same rolls

show John Melior, whom we have noticed at Truro, owing £80 for 40 thousandweight and paying only £6 13 s. 4 d., but undertaking to pay 20 marks yearly; John Crochard increasing his debt of £69 in 1334 to £95 the next year and paying off only £5; William de Pafford owing £65 and paying £30. In 1335 John Rosegan, merchant, owed £75, which he was to pay off at £6 a year; Ralph de Bloyou, a knight and member of one of the

oldest families in Cornwall, owed £124, and still owed the whole sum three years later; Stephen de Trewythosa, £149; and Margaret de Dynham, £85. Margaret was the only woman operating on a large scale; most of the others on the rolls return only small amounts, and almost all of them were widows, presumably dealing with their husbands’ tin.

Keepers of the Devon Stannary As the Devon stannary was farmed out, there are no details of the coinage in that county, but it 1s improbable that there was the same laxity in exacting the dues. For one thing, the tinners were mostly small men, who

would not receive the same toleration as wealthy merchants and landowners; for another, the farmer had to clear his rent and make his profits,

CFR, Ul, 242. *°° Ing. a.q.d., 185 /6.

104 CFR. V, 15.

96 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and a man would inevitably look more sharply after his own interests than after those of the crown. At the beginning of the period the Devon stan-

nary was in the hands of the abbey of ‘Tavistock, to whom it had been granted for seven years on 14 December 1325.*°° The king, in ignorance of this fact, bestowed it upon Thomas de Shiruge, king’s valet, on 17 Feb-

ruary 1327, and the prior and convent of Tavistock (the abbey being vacant) were ordered to deliver the stamp and rolls to him.*°® Ten days later this grant was revoked, and the convent were confirmed in their right. In spite of this, on 28 February 1328, the custody of the stannary was granted for life to Richard Calware, the king’s butler.*°’ This grant in turn was revoked on 18 May in favor of the abbey, and on 14 June Calware was ordered to give up his letters of appointment.*°* On the same

day, nevertheless, the appointment was given to John Mautravers the younger (the gaoler of Edward II), for seven years, only to be revoked on 28 July as having been made in forgetfulness of the grant already made,

and now confirmed, to Richard Calware.’°? Mautravers, however, was. confirmed in possession on 28 October with the consent of Richard Calware.*?? Meanwhile the abbey of ‘Tavistock, who seem never to have paid their rent of £113 13 s. 4 d., had either surrendered or lost their rights in the stannary.*** Subsequently the exchequer officials came down upon both grantees for the rent. Calware was excused on the ground that Mautravers had prevented him receiving any issues, and Mautravers protested that he had received none until 28 October.*?2 Mautravers held the stan-

nary for a year and then, on 28 October 1329, was ordered to deliver it up to William de Montacute, whom the king had appointed, with the consent of Richard Calware, as keeper. Later, on 8 June 1330, the appointment of Montacute was renewed for life; his rent was reduced to £100.*?° On the same date a commission of oyer and terminer was issued to John Mautravers and three others on the complaint of William de Montacute that the abbot of Rockland, Sir John de Chalons, and other persons had expelled the stannary men and hindered them from making assay of *°5 Pipe Roll, 19, Edw. II. *°6 A valuation of the goods of the earl of Cornwall at the time of his death, in 1336, includes,—‘1d for an iron hammer, engraved (zmprentato), for marking tin bought before coinage.’ (Min. Accts. 1094, 12.) Each block was marked with its owner’s sign before being stamped with its official die. 107 C.F.R., IV, 13, 23, 83. 108 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 291, 296.

109 CFR. IV, 96; C.P. 1327-1330, 308; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 304.

20 CF.R. IV, 107. 42 Pipe Roll, 2 Edw. IIL. 12 CPLR. 1330-1334, 376, L.R.T.MR., 4 Edw. Ul, m. 181.

13 CFR, IV, 155, 181.

Mines and Stannaries 97 tin, and his bailiffs and officers from levying distraints adjudged by the stannary courts and collecting amercements, and had assaulted his bailiffs at Chalonsleigh.*** Montacute, who became earl of Salisbury in 1337, gave up the keepership, having never paid a penny of his rent, and it was bestowed on Thomas West for life, on 4 March.125 On the seventeenth of that month the king, forgetting this, granted it to his son Edward, as duke of Cornwall, but on 3 October he revoked this grant and confirmed that

made to West.**® Sir Thomas West, knight, rendered his account at Michaelmas 1337, but paid in only £133 6 s. 8 d, representing the issues of

the stannary, with the coinage, and of the ‘river of Dartmouth’ (which was coupled with the stannary in all these grants) between the previous Michaelmas and 14 March when he had entered on the office of keeper; he did not pay the portion of his farm then due, because the duke had taken, and kept it.**” From this time onwards the stannary of Devon was farmed out by the duchy and not by the crown. Sir Thomas West was still holding the stannary in 1342, and was probably making a substantial profit, as in 1344 it was granted, free of rent, to Sir Bartholomew Burghersh, the prince’s tutor, in lieu of a pension of £200."78

Keepers of the Cornwall Stannary The whole county of Cornwall, including the stannaries, had been granted to Queen Isabel by her husband, Edward II, but on her fall from power she was compelled to surrender it, on 1 December 1330, and it was then put in the hands of William de Beauchamp.*’® On the following 18 January Robert de Bilkemore was appointed to succeed him as steward of Cornwall and keeper of the coinage, in which offices he was himself succeeded by William de Botreaux on 13 April 1331.**° His successor, Henry Trethewy, held office from 5 July 1333 till Michaelmas 1334, when John Petyt took his place.*** In each instance the keeper of the coinage was also steward and sheriff of the county; as steward he received £20, and as keeper £30.°? Associated with him was a controller. Roger de Blacolvesle was appointed to this post in January 1331, at a fee of £20; and he was succeeded on 3 October 1333 by Thomas Daumarle, who was still in office 114 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 563.

*° Pipe Rolls, Sheriffs’ Accts., 5, 9; C.F.R., V, 3. 110 CPR. 1334-1338, 536.

“7 Mins. Accts., 1094/13; 1095/1. *** Duchy Office, Mins. Accts., Rolls 1, 2. **° Pipe Roll, 5 Edw. IIL.

120 CFR, IV, 222, 247.

#27 Pipe Rolls, 8 Edw. III, 9 Edw. III. **? Duchy Office, Mins. Accts., Roll 3; Pipe Roll, 8 Edw. III.

98 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 when the stannaries passed to the duke in 1337.'?? He, therefore, makes an

appearance in the interesting case of John Petyt, late sheriff of Cornwall,*?* who was summoned to present his accounts before the exchequer at York in the fortnight of Trinity 1338. Petyt had urged his occupation with the defense of the county as an excuse for not appearing; this excuse had been accepted,—apparently rather to his surprise, as it was afterwards reported that he had come to York on Sunday in the said fortnight with a large sum of money and had been lurking there for a week. At this point, William Frost, usher of the exchequer, was sent to look for him and reported that on enquiry at his house, he was told that he was in his bedroom. His informant went in and came back with another man, saying, ‘Here,

this is John Petyt.’ But when they came to the exchequer this man said that he was not John Petyt but John de Rosrogan. The usher then went back, but failed to find Petyt; and it was discovered that, by advice of Rosrogan, John Petyt had stopped at Doncaster in hiding. Henry Dymmok, another usher of the court, was sent and brought him in. Petyt said that he thought that he had been excused and that therefore he had sent his rolls back to Cornwall. He was told however, that he must account for the coinage, as Thomas Daumarle, king’s clerk, the controller, was present with his counter-rolls. The issues from 11 June 1336 to 30 January 1337 were £2049 2 s. 3 d. and he also owed £2083 1s. 11% d. All of this he said was assigned by the king to the merchants of the Bardi, as part of £7200 to be received from the coinage dues; but he produced no evidence of the payment.’”° ‘Thirteen persons, all of Cornwall, became sureties for his appearance at the Michaelmas exchequer. After deliberation of the court, he was fined for the first four days of his failure to appear £5 a day, ‘as is usual

when sheriffs default;’ for the other days he was to be amerced at the king’s will. At Michaelmas he again defaulted; the sheriff then arrested him, but could not send him up at Hilary as he was very ill; so he attached his goods to the value of £20, stating that he could not find any more or any purchasers for these. Eventually John Petyt appeared, on 12 April 1339, and was committed to the Fleet for contempt but was promptly bailed out. About the beginning of July he appeared again and claimed allowance for various sums, including £670 14 s. 2 d. paid to John, late earl of Cornwall, in part payment of coinage of 400,000 of tin which the king gave him towards the payment of his debts; as he still owed some £1740 for arrears of coinage, subsidies, and the tax on wool, he was com228 Sheriffs’ Accts., 5, 9; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 482, Caption of Seisin Roll (Duchy Office). 1247 T.R.M.R., 12 and 13 Edw. III.

7° He seems to have paid £2160 5s. 4d. out of the issues of the coinage to the Bardi in, or before, June. C.C.R. 1339-1341, 149.

Mines and Stannaries 99 mitted to the Fleet. On 26 July the king, having urgent need of money, ordered the keeper of the Fleet to hand John Petyt over to the constable of the Tower as he understood that he was not sufficiently strictly guarded and therefore did not trouble to satisfy the demands upon him.’** He was

again brought before the exchequer court, who recommitted him to the Fleet, but on 19 October released him on bail for the duration of parliament, which he presumably attended.**’ On 4 November, parliament being

over, he returned to prison, but was again bailed out on 7 November. Meanwhile he had taken steps to raise the money, as on 28 October he, with certain other persons of Cornwall, acknowledged a debt of £1600 to William de Montacute, earl of Salisbury, and on 4 November debts of £500 to the Bardi and £200 to them and the Peruzzi.’?* Subsequently he paid up all the arrears of his account. Although most of the sums in question were not issues of the stannary, the case is interesting as showing the complications due to the combination of several offices in a single hand,

Petyt being sheriff, steward, keeper of the coinage, and collector of a subsidy and of a tax on wool. Assignments on the Coinage

Another point that emerges from the Petyt case is the practice of making assignments on the coinage, in whole or part, for the settlement of the king’s debts. Edward’s brother, John of Eltham, earl of Cornwall, had incurred heavy debts over the Scottish wars; to meet these debts the king first granted him, in February 1333, the coinage on 100 thousands of tin, and then, in April 1336, gave him the coinage on 400 thousands (as men-

tioned by John Petyt), and also the right of pre-emption, provided that he would give as much for the tin as others were prepared to give; this restriction on the general right of purchase was not to be made a precedent.*”® The earl died shortly afterwards, but this grant was confirmed to his executors for the payment of his debts.1°° A debt of 5000 marks to the earl of Salisbury was met by assigning him, in 1337, 1000 marks yearly

from the issues of the coinage and lands of the duchy, and the grant of these to the king’s son Edward was made subject to the reservation of this payment.*** In particular the stannaries were used to pay off loans ad-

vanced by the Italian merchant-bankers who were now financing the crown. Antonio Pessaigne of Genoa had held the tin mines of Cornwall 120 Ibid. 169.

“7 He is shown in the official lists as representing the county. 228 C.C.R, 1339-1341, 272-3. 129 CPLR, 1330-1334, 413, C.C.R. 1333-1337, 667. 189 C.C.R., 1333-1337, 612.

181 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 426, 433; L.T.R.M.R., 12 Edw. II, m. 40.

100 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and Devon for some years under Edward II, accounting for them in 1317,

| and on 27 March 1331 he was granted £600 yearly from the coinage towards a sum of £6000 owing to him.'*? Next year the great firm of Bardi

took over Pessaigne’s debt, and in February orders were given for the repayment to them of £4566 out of the coinage of Cornwall and Devon; £500 was to be paid before Easter, and the whole issues were to be assigned

to them until the debt was cleared, even if the king should assign these issues to his brother, John of Eltham. The king’s stamp was to be kept in a chest under ward of the steward and sheriff and the said merchants, who should each have a key, and no tin should be stamped except in the presence of their representatives.**? In August 1333 the Bardi were assigned another 2000 marks, of which half was to be raised from the coinage; a year later they were assigned 1600 marks from the same source. Then, in May 1336, the issues of the coinage were assigned to the Bardi until their debt was discharged.*** ‘hey were to have tallies at the exchequer for discharging the sheriff and steward of the issues received. Just a year later John Petyt, the sheriff, was instructed to distrain and compel those who owed money for coinage of tin before it was granted to the duke of Cornwall to pay it, and to deliver the money to the king’s merchants of the Bardi in part payment of a great sum assigned to them on the said coinage.**° The Bardi were at this time also speculating in tin. On 29 September 1337, orders were sent to the mayor and sheriffs of London and the collectors of customs to examine the letters patent signed with the coket seal which the Bardi have, testifying to their having paid customs in Cornwall

at 3 d. in the pound value on a thousand blocks of tin which they have brought to London. After taking security from them that they will send the tin with the king’s fleet of ships to foreign parts by the advice of the king’s merchants William de la Pole and Reynold atte Conduit, and after collecting a ‘loan’ of 20 s. on each thousand of the tin, they should allow it to be exported. Early next year similar orders were given for another 520 blocks.*#° The customs accounts of the period do not give details of

the tin exported; but in 1339 John Boylet, merchant of the Bardi, paid £6 10 s. for customs on tin to the value of £520 taken out of the realm from a Cornish port.'*’ Next year the same man, as representative of the Bardi, paid customs, at 3 d. in the pound, on tin worth £56 shipped in the Johannette of Wyth’, on 13 January; £140 in the Gonnotte of Fowey, on 182. C.P.R, 1317-1321, 56, Ibid., 1330-1334, 98. 183 Ibid., 1330-1334, 255; C.C.R., 1330-1333, 439. 184 C\P.R. 1330-1334, 465; Ibid., 1334-1338, 23, 261.

185 CER. V, 17. 136 Thi. 49, 67. *87 Mins. Accts., 816/11.

Mines and Stannaries 101 17 March; £120 in the Petre of Hamme, on 20 March; £128 in the Gracedieu of Fowey, on 22 March; £120 in the Seyntemariecog of Fowey, on 8 April; £102 in the Trimyte of Winchelsea, on 11 April; £58 in the Johannette of Fowey, on 17 April; and also customs on £40 in the Petur of Poole, 3 August, paid by Serlo Quoynt, and on £166 in the Katerine of Portland, 9 August, by Peter de Parmee, both being representatives of the Bardi.73® It will be seen, therefore, that the stannaries produced not only direct revenue, in the shape of coinage dues, but also indirect, in the shape of customs, which must have been considerable, as English tin was in constant demand abroad. In England it was required for solder for all plumbing work, including the leading of glass windows, and more especially for the manufacture of pewter, in which English, craftsmen excelled.42° When the king, on 10 March 1327, confirmed an ordinance of the London Girdlers’ Company prohibiting the garnishing of girdles with pewter or tin,

local trade was upset and, as a result of complaints from a number of girdlers in Bristol and Coventry who had been in the habit of buying tin

at Tavistock, Ashburton, and Changford and using it for their wares,

ordinance.!*° |

permission was given in 1329 for them to continue to do so in spite of the It is unfortunate that there is practically no evidence touching the jurisdiction of the stannary courts until long after the period, 1327-1336. From the thirteenth century onward, each stannary had a court to deal with the disputes and misdemeanours in which the tinners within its own district were concerned. The bounds of the stannaries do not seem to have been accurately defined. “Ihe moor between Launceston and Bodmin, in which the Fowey river has its source, gave its name to the northern stannary of Foweymore; Hensborough Beacon with the tin grounds of Roche, Luxullian, and St Austell formed that of Blackmore. A smaller district on the

north coast, extending inland to Truro, constituted the stannary of Tywarnhail. The stannary, or united stannaries, of Penwith and Kerrier included two great tracts of waste of which one lies north of Helston-inKerrier and the other stretches between Lelant and Land’s End.’ In the neighboring county of Devon, the stannary districts of Chagford, Ashburton, ‘Tavistock, and at a later date Plympton, each centering about a town of the same name, comprised and encircled the great stanniferous area of Dartmoor.'*! The courts combined the activities of manorjal courts baron and leet and seem occasionally to have clashed with the

88 Tbid., No. 12. : **° See, Salzman, Medieval Industries, pp. 140-3. 40 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 40, 367, 379; repeated in 1336 (ibid. 1334-1338, 288). #41 G, R. Lewis, The Stannaries, 89.

102 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 franchises of neighbouring manors. In later times the presiding officer was theoretically the warden, but actually a steward presided over each court as his deputy. During this period the warden does not appear under that

title but seems to be represented by the steward of Cornwall and the keeper of the coinage, both of which offices were held, in conjunction with that of sheriff, by the same person during the first ten years of Edward III. The courts of the stannaries, held at intervals of four weeks, are said in 1338-1339 to have been held by “Robert Beaupel, steward, and his deputy.’ The only other officials are the bailiffs, who were appointed, from 1337

onwards, by the duke and were removable, and their sub-bailiffs. The bailiffs paid a yearly fee for their office: Blackmore £40 10 s., Penwith and Kerrier £2 10 s., and Tywarnhail 10 s.; but for Foweymore the formula is always ‘nothing, because no one will give anything for it.’ What their perquisites were does not appear. In the ‘Caption of Seisin,’ drawn up in May 1337 upon the grant of the duchy to Prince Edward, the pleas and perquisites of the courts are reckoned at £20; but this seems to be a slight underestimate, as may be seen from the following figures, which give

the issues of the thirteen courts during certain years for which there are particulars: *4?

1331-2 1333-4 1338-9 1341-2

£5 os. d.7£ 9os.15 d. 14 £os.7d.11 £ os. d. Blackmore 8 3 ll 11 Penwith & Kerrier 5 12 10 7 16 6 7 18 1 6 12 78

Tywarnhail 12 11 0 3621410 1013319 Foweymore 4 II1]23118 26 79 0 #8=©2219 2 #423017 6 224 3 11

In addition, there are occasional entries of the property of persons who have fled to evade justice; as for instance, in Blackmore in 1345, ‘and of 4 s. from the goods and chattels of Ranulph de Penentennala, fugitive. And of the profits of a ferling of land which was of Richard Skewek, fugitive for felony, seized into the lord’s hands and leased by the steward to Richard, son of the said Richard, to hold at the lord’s will, 6 s.’148

Annual Renders Finally there are to be considered certain annual renders from the tinners. We have already referred to ‘tribulage,’ which was nominally a halfpenny from every man working with a shovel, but had been fixed at 20 s.

from Penwith and Kerrier and 10 s. 3 d. from Blackmore. William de *4? Mins. Accts. in P.R.O. and Duchy Office. **° Duchy office, Mins. Accts., Roll 2.

Mines and Stannaries 103 Botreaux in his account as steward in 1331-1332 did not answer for these sums, ‘because they are in the hands of John of Eltham as appurtenant to the castle of Launceston and issuing from the tenants of lands which are held of the said castle, as they say.’*** They are, however, duly entered under their respective stannaries in the duchy accounts of 1338-1339 and 1341-1342. In the same account of 1331-1332 the steward returns £6 for the fine of tin, ‘which is collected of divers men in the county of Cornwall who are called tinners and enjoy the liberty of the.stannary; namely, at the hands of the bailiff of Powder (Pydr’) 42 s. 8 d., at the hands of the tinners of Blackmore 65 s. 8 d., at the hands of the bailiff of Kerrier, under the title of Doublet, 11 s. 8 d.’ This ‘doublet’ was collected by the bailiff of the hundred of Kerrier and not by the bailiff of the stannary. The origin and nature of the fine of tin is obscure, but it seems to have been a charge

on certain lands, as the ‘Caption of Seisin’ of 1337 under Tewington manor reads, ‘the land of Nicholas de Menledir of St Austell renders for fine of tin, 314 d.,’ with five other similar entries, varying from 1 d. to 2 d., and an estimate that ‘fines of tin of free-conventioners and bondsmen are worth yearly at Michaelmas, 20 s.’ [his is entered in accounts of 1336 and 1338 as ‘20 s. from fines of tin in the vill of St Austell.’ It is also stated in the ‘Caption of Seisin’ that ‘the toll of tin in Tewington is worth yearly, 6 s.;’ and under Helston-in-Kerrier the average yearly value of the toll of tin is given as 13 s. 4 d. Apparently this toll was the tribute, or share, probably the tenth part, paid to the king (or duke) from ore won on royal lands outside the recognized stannaries—possibly in cultivated land. In theory the tinners had the right to dig anywhere, but, so long as moors and waste lands were available, they were expected to confine themselves to these; in 1333 the keeper of the Devon stannary was ordered not to permit the tinners to dig in arable lands or woods of the men of the county, as the king has heard complaints that they dig in such lands, neglecting the waste lands, of which there is sufficient for their works.?*® In the accounts for 1338-1339, the steward returns under Rillaton, Climesland, and Penwith, ‘from toll of tin, nothing, because none was worked (or, dug) there this year.’**° Under ‘Tewington 1s entered, ‘3 d. received from a quarter of a foot of black tin arising from toll in the moor of Correk;’ under Tywarnhail, ‘3 s. 3 d. received from 3 feet of black tin arising from toll;’ and under Tybeste, ‘4 d. from a third of a foot of black tin arising from toll;’ and under Helston-in-Kerrier, ‘£6 6 s. 8 d. received 144 Mins. Accts., 811/18. 45 CL.C.R. 1333-1337, 120.

*#° Mins. Accts., 816/11.

| 104 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 : from toll of tin and from hunting rights (chacea) on the wastes there, leased by the steward this year.’ A later account, for 1341-1342, records under Tywarnhail, ‘from toll of tin this year, 6 d., received at the hands of the reeve of the borough; and under Tywarnhail, ‘20 d. received from one foot of black tin arising from toll.’***

, To set off against all these different sources of revenue, almost the only expenses, apart from tithe and fees, already mentioned, were repairs to the tin balance. For instance, in 1332, a pair of scale-pans (foliorum) for the balance (statera) bound with iron, newly made for weighing tin, 4 s.; for

16 fathom (teyse) of cord for it, 4 s.; and for mending the beam of the balance and making two rings, two hooks and four iron chains, 2 s. 9 d.;**8 and in 1333, for mending a balance, and for iron bought, with the smith’s wages, and a pair of cords, 9 s. 7 d.**° It is, therefore, clear that while the crown derived little or no real profit from its mining operations in other —

metals, the stannaries yielded a very considerable and steady revenue. | *47 Duchy Office, Mins. Accts., Roll 1. 148 Sheriffs’ Accts., 5, 9. *4° Pipe Roll, 8 Edw. IIL.



Erwin T. Meyer? The Borough and Royal Administration

Se TERED over England when Edward HI came to the throne were

political islands, whose distinct privileges gave them a unique place in royal administration. Prominent among these were the great franchised abbeys, but other political units were the chartered towns, the boroughs.

By the fourteenth century these latter units were well organized, selfconscious centers that possessed political, administrative, economic, and judicial rights that made them quasi-independent units of administration.”

The charters of the boroughs incorporated these privileges as aspects | of administrative independence. Nottingham’s charter of 1330 is typical of the walled safety obtained against any royal administrator. By it ‘no sheriff, bailiff, or other minister of ours or our heirs, shall enter the borough

to exercise or perform summonses, attachments, or distress of any other office within the same borough except through default of the bailiffs.”* The tendency of boroughs to be self-contained units does not mean that they obtained by charters, such as Nottingham’s, a complete autonomy

that withdrew them from any part in the royal administrative system. Pollock and Maitland have cautioned against such a conclusion: The community is a community, not because it is a self-sufficient organization,

but because it is a subordinate member of a greater community, of a nation. The nation is not a system of federated communities, the king is above all and has a direct hold on every individual. The communities are far more often the bearers of duties than of rights, they appear before the court chiefly as punish*Professor W. A. Morris revised this chapter extensively. 7H. A. Merewether and A. J. Stephens, History of the Boroughs and Municipal Corporations of the United Kingdom (London, 1835), II, 618-623, 629-631, 638-639, 650-651, 654; Adolphus Ballard, and James Tait, British Borough Charters, 1216-1307 (Cambridge, 1923), xc-cl; F. Pollock and F. W. Maitland, History of English Law, | (Cambridge, 1895), 643644; Charles Gross, The Gild Merchant (Oxford, 1890), II, 13-14, Borough Customs, ed. Mary Bateson (Selden Society, London, 1904-1906), II, 55, 222, 254, R. R. Sharpe, ed.,

Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London, Bk. E. (London, 1903), p. 17; A. H. Thomas, ed., Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1323-1364

(Cambridge, 1926), i, xi.

* Records of the Borough of Nottingham, ed. W. H. Stevenson (London, 1890), I, 105; The Royal Charters of the City of Lincoln, ed. W. de Gray Birch (Cambridge, 1911), p. 59.

106 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 } able units; the proudest city will lose its liberties if it exceeds or abuses those powers that are given to it from above.*

Although the effect of chartered exemptions like those of Nottingham was to prevent the sheriff, coroner, or other county officers from exercising their functions within the boroughs, the need and fact of royal administration within the boroughs was still present whether or not boroughs objected to the presence of crown administrators. This need was met by

local autonomy in the selection of administrative officers and the delegation of royal business to these selected persons or to other borough residents rather than the complete surrender of the crown’s administrative business to the borough as an entity. The borough administrative islands were, therefore, brought into the fourteenth century administration by two methods. The first scheme was merely to assign an administrative duty or function that a county officer

normally performed to a borough citizen who might or might not at the time be a burghal officer. Thus the mayor of London 1s asked to superintend the repair of a bridge;® the mayor of Oxford is ordered to attend the king’s council and give information concerning local conditions;° the mayor and bailiffs of Newcastle are commanded to enforce the statute of Westminster.’ Royal justice was aided by the local officers who assumed

the sheriff’s role in this aspect of the crown’s business. In fact, by the Statute of Northampton bailiffs and other town officials were made crown agents.® The mayor, because of the fact that he was an active administrator, might be used temporarily to fill the place of a royal officer until one was selected, as the chief executive officer of York did when he assumed the headship of the staple until a mayor of the staple had been selected. An*Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, I, 688. Contrast this statement with that of A. Luchaire: ‘Le second point commun a toutes ces chartes, c’est qu’elles étaient en grande partie dirigées contre lautorité prévdétale—dangereuse pour la royauté.—lls établissent sur plusieurs points du domaine, le droit absolu pour les bourgeois de weétre point obligés de sortir de la ville ou de la province pour vener plaider devant le justice royal—(Histoire des Institutions monarchiques de la France sous les Premiers Capetiens (Paris, 1883), II, 146, 149; cf. Carl Stephenson, Borough and Town (Cambridge, 1933) pp. 152-185. © C.C.R. 1330-1336, 102.

® [bid., 1333-1337, 332; ibid., 1330-1333, 238, Memorials of London Life in XIll, XIV

and XV centuries, trans. and ed. H. T. Riley (London, 1868), pp. 187-190, Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 91. 7C.C.R. 1333-1337, 214.

® Rot. Parl. Wi, 54. Cf. C.C.R. 1327-1330, 146, 151; Ibid., 1333-1337, 67, ibid. 13301333, 42; ibid., 1333-1337, 541, 574, 675; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 53, 549-550; C.F.R., IV, 347; Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E. p. 300; C.C.R. 1335-1337, 90, 435, 658, 712; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 17, 21, 2; Hubert Hall, ed., Select Cases Concerning the Law Merchant (Selden Society, London, 1930), II, xlii-li. ° C\P.R. 1327-1330, 134. For London, cf. Cal. Letter Books ... London, Bk. E, p. 212.

Boroughs 107 other example to illustrate what was usual is supplied by a Nottingham incident. One Thomas, a burgess, brought suit against John, a local bailiff (called the king’s sub-bailiff) because John, under orders from the crown had taken Thomas’ cart for the use of the crown, and had not returned it. The defendant was found guilty in the borough court and had to pay Thomas 2 d. as well as to return the cart.’° Among other duties which the bailiffs were ordered to perform were the arrest of persons who had escaped from mainpernors;" the regulation and prevention of burghal attempts to take prices;** the return of wool and hides originally confiscated under the impression that the goods were destined for an enemy and therefore an act of itself in aid of royal administration;** the regulation of sailings,** the supervision of exportation of money by aliens;*® the release of persons taken by borough officers;*® the enforcement of the wool staple;’” the arraying of armed forces;** and

the payment of sums to various persons for various services from the farm of the borough’® all were acts usually performed by the county sheriffs. These activities are all detailed subsequently by illustration.

Another typical case can be found in such an order as that sent to the | bailiffs of Scarborough which commanded them to keep one Robert Hived in prison unless they received a special order for his release. Robert’s

offense had to do with the collection of the tenth.2° Another illustration finds the bailiffs used to assist the crown in a strictly feudal function. The London sheriffs were to take a girl who was an heiress and whose marriage belonged to the king and deliver her into the hands of Pulteney, a former mayor, for safe keeping until further orders.?* Then again, the royal exchequer ordered the bailiffs to reimburse persons for services rendered to His Majesty; and finally borough officers received word in20 Records of the Borough of Nottingham, I, 119. One may note in: passing how well this illustrates Dicey’s remarks on the absence of administrative law in England. It was foreign to the fundamental English common law concept to grant protection to a servant of the crown whilst acting in pursuance of official orders (A. V. Dicey, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, 9th ed. (London, 1939), pp. 386-388. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 658. 12. C.P.R. 1330-1334, 116, 117, 246, 320, 321. 18 C.C.R, 1333-1337, 17.

14 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 339; cf. C.C.R. 1327-1330, 186-187, 213-214; ibid., 1333-1337, 98. *® C.C.R. 1330-1334, 248, 453. 18 Ibid., 1327-1330, 61, 62, 69, 75-76. 11 Ibid., 1333-1337, 102; ibid., 1330-1333, 596.

18 [bid., 1327-1330, 393, George Poulson, Beverlac, 1 (London, 1829), 97. 1° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 64, 160, 167, 171, 269, 275, 472. 20 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 108.

1 Ibid. 931.

108 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 structing them to pay the town members of parliament their wages during the various sessions.””

The use of borough officers for judicial purposes might cause conflicts between the crown and the boroughs. These conflicts were complicated by the division of jurisdiction as granted by charters.?* A case famous because the father and grandfather of Chaucer were parties arose because of such a jurisdictional conflict. The mayor and sheriffs of London successfully defended the privilege of the city which exempted its citizens

from being cited for an act committed outside of the city. To be sure, while the success of the city was not immediate and at least one defendant had to spend some time in jail, still, in the end London emerged the victor.** Royal justice met with such obstacles as local patriotism which would

cause the return of a writ in 1330 with the observation that London refused to co-operate in an inquisition concerning land when such an inquisition was taken outside of the borough.”® Nor were the boroughs interested in guarding their rights and liberties

in criminal matters alone. When the crown sent a writ to London asking that twelve Londoners appear at an inquisition to be held at Northampton to decide on oath the validity of a deed of acquittance, the return of the writ stated that according to ‘the liberties of the city of London, all inquisitions to be taken by justices and others of the king’s ministers touching the men of the said city ought to be taken in London and not elsewhere.’ The mediaeval system of liability was such as to cause the local units to guard zealously their good name and the acts of their burgesses.

This liability brought into being the reprisal system or withernam by which local commercial warfare was conducted. Such legal and economic

activity frequently brought the boroughs into conflicts with the crown because of the administration of royal policy such as that incorporated in the statute of Westminster I, which was intended to check the legality of withernam.

The king in his charters had frequently reserved an authority to set aside the election of officials in various boroughs, and even in this decade 22 Ibid., 304; ibid., 1327-1330, 226, 411-412, 528; ibid., 1330-1333, 137-138.

>For a list of boroughs possessing judicial liberties in 1307, see Ballard and Tait, British Borough Charters, 1216-1307, xc-cii;, also cf. Cal. Letter Books ... London, Bk. E. p- 202; George Norton, Commentaries on the History, Constitution, and Chartered Fran-

chises of the City of London (London, 1829; 3rd ed., 1869), p. 112.

24 Cal. Letter Books ... London, Bk. E, 218, 226, 237; cf. 58-60, 244. 6 Ibid., p. 244.

2°For a treatment of withernam and its effect on crown-borough relations, cf. E. F. Meyer, ‘Anent the Statute of Westminster I, St Louis Law Review, XVII (1931), 24-25; and ‘Some Aspects of Withernam or the English System of Vicarious Liability,’ Speculum, VIII (1933), 235-240.

Boroughs 109 preserved in form the means of doing so.”” The requirement was often laid down in the preceding century that elected mayors be presented to the king, the exchequer, the chancellor or some other representative of the king for admission to office.?* Similar usage had prevailed for the expression of the royal approval of bailiffs chosen in various towns.”° Even

after the charter of 1327 the mayor and the sheriffs of London elected each year continued to be admitted to office at the exchequer and in its absence by the constable of the Tower.*® To settle an old dispute the London authorities at the beginning of the reign of Edward III procured the concession that their sheriffs be sworn in the city and not at the exchequer. A later report shows that the mayor of Bristol, until the time of Edward JJI, was sworn and received his charge at the castle gate.** The

burgesses and community of Northampton in 1327 in letters to the exchequer announced that they had chosen as mayor Simon Laushall, to remain in office so long as should please the king and presented him by two persons, asking that Simon be admitted to office.*? At the same Michaelmas session is recorded the king’s grant to the citizens of Win-

chester that when they elect a mayor they shall signify this by their letters to the treasurer and barons of the exchequer and the elect shall appear personally before them, conceding, however, to the sheriff or any sufficient

person of those parts power to receive the oath of the elect.?? At Cambridge this power was in 1336 assigned to the chancellor or vice-chancellor of the university.** These usages, which still provided a means of admitting elective town officials to office, rested upon the earlier principle that such executives of

town governments established by the king’s grant must be accepted by *7 ['W. A. Morris added this and the following paragraph. ] ® See the excerpts from charters in British Borough Charters, 1216-1307, ed. Ballard and Tait, pp. 360-365. In London by 1299 the mayor and sheriffs were admitted at the exchequer. By the charter of 1227 the mayor of London was presented in the king’s absence to his justice (ibid., p. 361), by the charter of 1299, in the absence of the barons of the exchequer, to the constable of the Tower. At Bristol from 1300 the mayor was presented to the keeper of the local castle (ibid., p. 365). In Cardigan, at least until 1347, the burgesses elected annually four persons to be presented to the constable there in the

hundred court. He then designated one of these as bailiff. Placita de Quo Warranto,

Edward I-Edward III, ed. William Ulingworth, (Record Commission, London, 1818), p. 821. °° British Borough Charters, 1216-1307, pp. 351-156, 364. At Northampton from 1300

two persons were elected, of whom the sheriff presented one as provost for acceptance by the king’s chief justice at Westminster (ibid., p. 351). 3° Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls ... London, 1323-1364, 31. *1 Ricart, The Maire of Bristol is Kalendar, ed. Lucy T. Smith (Camden Society, Westminster, 1872), p. 69. 8? L.T.M.R., No. 400, m. 51. 88 Tbid.

8 C.P.R. 1334-1338, 240.

110 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 his authority. From the historical point of view town officials in royal boroughs were clearly the king’s officials and town government a delegation of his authority; and these exercised their powers by crown consent. Moreover, in certain cases the crown suspended their authority, taking a borough into the king’s hand and appointing for the time being a custos sometimes the keeper of the local castle,*° who managed affairs solely as his agent.*® The keeper of Northampton is mentioned in letters of 25

March 1330 ordering a payment from the borough farm. This shows the town under such custodianship, although by the following September the bailiffs were again in control of fiscal matters.?” Because of the strategical position of Berwick-on-T weed a keeper of that town was appointed in 1314 and 1315,°° and again in October 1335,° although on 23 February 1335 reference to a mayor of Berwick may be found.*° In 1327 a custos also accounted for the farm of Kingston-on-Hull and the same arrangement is found at Windsor, Andover and Appleby. In 1330 the justices by quo warranto adjudged that the offices of mayor, bailiffs and coroners at

Bedford be taken into the king’s hands and designated and swore in a custos with bailiffs and coroners.*? In the same year the liberties of Nottingham, including the right to elect bailiffs, were for a few weeks taken into the king’s hands by the justices in eyre, also because there was usurpation upon the king in their exercise.*? Still another aspect of the broad assumption that borough officers are

the king’s ofhcers may be mentioned. The crown at times granted exemptions to persons from serving on local juries or holding any local office unless they were willing to do so. Such exemptions released the holder from any penalties inflicted for refusing to serve when elected or drafted. For example, John Goband in 1334 received a letter patent exempting him from any assize, jury or recognizance duty, as well as any appointment as mayor, sheriff, coroner, escheator, bailiff or other minister against his will.*? The crown in one case interfered in the election of an 6 For the famous case at Bristol in 1312, Bristol Charters, 1155-1373, ed. N. D. Harding (Bristol, 1930), p. 48.

°°Edward II had recently so dealt with London, Croniques de London ed. G. J.

Aungier (Camden Soc. London, 1844), pp. 41, 45-46; cf. Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, p. 138. 7 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 61. 88 Ibid, 1313-1316, 46, 269, 326. 8° Tbid., 1333-1337, 448.

“CFR. IV, 433. “ Placita de Quo Warranto, p. 181.

“Ibid. p. 621.

“°C.P.R. 1334-1338, 1; cf. ibid., 1334-1338, 10, 27, 89, 229, 347; ibid. 1330-1334, 34, 331, 365, 462, 559; ibid., 1327-1330, 138, 233, 328, 358, 443, 530; also Cal. Letter Books ... London, Bk. E, pp. 284-285.

Boroughs 111 officer. Lincoln was required by writ addressed to the mayor and bailiffs of that borough not to allow Thomas de Carleton, a former undersheriff to hold any municipal office because he had been convicted of forgery.** The creation of special local administrators was the second general means of obtaining the execution of town business. Chester and London had sheriffs, who were locally appointed and controlled.** Although their duties were much the same as those delegated to the bailiffs of other communities, they were royal administrators behind city walls. Here the usual royal officers took on also the status of borough officers. Moreover, in two boroughs, Newcastle and London, the crown granted the communities the right to have local escheators.** In both cases the mayor of the borough was the local escheator, and he was also given other duties assigned to him for the time being.**

The effect of such a plurality of functions in one person must have caused conflicts of administrative loyalties with the city. When John Pulteney was ordered as escheator to hold an inquisition concerning the withdrawal of chantries and to restore some that had been withdrawn,

he might indeed have been acting in good faith as an escheator, but the | results might have conflicted with what he as mayor thought best for the city.*8 There was a question in London after 1327 whether a license to make grants in mortmain was still necessary or whether all lands or tenements to the value of £10 were exempt from this.*® Again the possibility of

a clash of interests can be seen in a command to hold an inquisition ad quod damnum.°° ‘The mayor, as a royal agent, might well be placed in the difficult position of having his right hand act against his left. Evidence that this happened is found during Pulteney’s administration. As “CCR. 1330-1333, 382.

‘© At London one of the sheriffs was elected each year on nomination of the mayor, the other on that of the community (Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 69). For Chester, see James Tait, The Medieval English Borough (Manchester, 1936), p. 352. The first borough county to have sheriffs was Bristol, from 1373. See Bristol Charters, ed. N. D. Harding, pp. 119-141. “George Norton, Commentaries on the History, Constitution, and Chartered Franchises of the City of London (3rd ed.) p. 346. C.P.R. 1334-1338, 31, C.F.R., IV, 386; C.C.R., 1327-1330, 145, 436, K.R.M.R., No. 109, mm. 281, 298. It 1s doubtful if any escheator of Hereford existed in this period. See Richard Johnson, The Ancient Customs of the City

of Hereford, with Translations of Charters (London, 1868, 2nd ed. 1882), p. 14. The charter extorted from the abbey by the burgesses of Bury St Edmunds in 1327 gave to the alderman custody of wards and orphans, Memorials of St Edmunds Abbey, Rolls Series, IIT, 305.

*7 Newcastle’s mayor was also the keeper of the king’s victuals and leader of the armed forces of the region (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 51, 285).

“C.C.R. 1330-1333, 314. “’ Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls ... London, 1323-1364, 187. °° Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, p. 224.

112 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 custodian of the king’s year and waste of a manor he had orders to permit certain citizens of London to cut timber. Later the council held that the land was not legally in the king’s hand and he presumably became liable for reimbursing the loss thus incurred.°*

While there were but two borough escheators, there were borough coroners in more than twenty towns.°” Their duties were the usual ones of a county coroner with certain additions. In London the office was held ex officio by the king’s butler,°* but because of the press of other duties it was customary to appoint some one to act in his place.®* In general these officers bore the same relation to the local royal administration as did the

county coroner to county crown officers. The borough coroner could be called upon by the crown to follow up any administrative request made of the local personnel, as was the custom in the counties. In Worcester and Shrewsbury the coroners had particular duties that might well cause them to be numbered among the royal administrative staff. In the former town the coroner had charge of the enforcement of the assize of wine, and the Shropshire borough public works fell under his general charge.°° The coroner of Leicester under royal writ took from the local church a felon who gave himself up and turned him over to the borough bailiffs.°* The tendency to designate distinct local representatives who were given royal administrative duties and titles that usually went with such duties, may also be recognized in the practice of creating borough taxing and assessment units. Professor Willard has shown that that method was used somewhat in various levies between 1314 and 1334.°" The administrative fortresses that were walled about with charter provisions which forbade the entrance of royal administrators were thus brought bodily into the fiscal system by organizing the community on the same basis as the county, though the crown allowed the local units to be administered by their own °1 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 384, 515, 530; ibid., 1333-1337, 10, 146.

°2In twenty by 1306: Ballard and Tait, British Borough Charters, 1216-1307, pp. 357, 360; cf. C. Gross, editor, Select Cases from the Coroners’ Rolls, 1265-1413, Selden Society, XX11-XX111.

°8 Gross cautions against the error that the mayor was coroner of this city (bid., xxili). The two persons delegated by the butler for this duty were called subcoronatores. (tbid.; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 368.)

°4 Cal. Letter Books ... London, Bk. E, pp. 165-166, Liber Custumarum, I, 296, C.P.R. 1327-1330, 34, 127, 329; C.C_R. 1333-1334, 46. The Calendar of Coroners’ Rolls of the City of London, ed. R. R. Sharpe (London, 1914), has no rolls for the years 1327-1335, and 1336

before 1327 or after 1336.

gives nothing but the usual routine inquisitions; nor does the calendar for the years just 55 Gross, Op. cit., p. XXVill.

6° Records of the Borough of Leicester, II, 1-2. 7 J. F. Willard, Parliamentary Taxes on Personal Property (Cambridge, Mass., 1934) pp- 40-41; see Cal. Letter Books .. . London, Bk. E, pp. 176, 296.

Boroughs 113 citizens rather than by county tax officials. Yet another aspect of the same

practice is observed in the delegation of the return of writs to the local officers,°* and by the appointment of mayors as members of commissions of oyer and terminer and of gaol delivery.°® This dual functional character of the mayor again might cause conflicts between the mayor as a borough officer and the mayor as a member of the crown’s administrative staff. As

a crown officer he might be called upon to perform a function that his community did not approve. It is evident that any study of the English government at work must include the every day use and abuse of local personnel when engaged in royal administration. But the problem involves more than this. A complete picture of the English government as it worked in all its ramifications de-

mands a detailed examination of the actual use of the borough governments themselves as well as their officers. To leave out of the picture the dynamics of borough government simply because its action is in the borough, or by the borough, is short-sighted. These political and administrative islands represent a type of imperium in imperio and must be

given their due place. It remains to examine in detail the types of duties | performed and the relation of the boroughs with the crown and with one another as that relation affected the government at work. To facilitate this examination a working classification of administrative functions has been made.*®°

Royal Administrative Functions as Performed by Boroughs

One of the best known borough franchises was that of firma burgi, which conferred on town authorities the authority to collect and pay at the exchequer the farm hitherto paid to the sheriff. The grant when in perpetuity was one by which the town community held of the king in burgage at fee farm.** An administrative effect was to make the community through its officials accountants at the exchequer, who appeared with the sheriff

to acquit this part of the county debt to the crown. Some grants, moreover, had made borough officials answerable at the exchequer for debts °° Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, pp. 218, 226, 237, 239. 5° C.C.R. 1330-1333, 504, 520.

°° Professor Meyer stated that the classification was purely subjective and admitted change. He left it substantially as it appears. The editor [W. A. Morris] has added the three paragraphs which appear immediately below and has occasionally regrouped materials as originally presented, or added confirmatory material. [W. A. M.] * At London (Liber Albus, I, 190-193) and at Lincoln (Charters of Lincoln, ed. W. de Gray Birch, p. 58). The burgesses of Windsor also held of the king at fee farm, rendering at the exchequer £18 a year (Exch, Plea Roll, No. 56, m. 14; see also Thomas Madox, Firma Burgi (London, 1726), pp. 3, 21.

114 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 collected by its summons and even for all debts due the king.** The obligation of bailiffs of franchises to be present and take a part supplementary

to that of the sheriff is clearly set forth in the reforming exchequer ordinances of Edward II.°* The situation is described in the royal charter to Lincoln in 1330 which specifies that the bailiffs of that borough are to make their return to the exchequer along with the sheriff of the county.® Until 1327-1328 over forty towns had been accustomed to appear at the exchequer by their officials, or their attorneys, when the sheriffs’ proffers were made twice a year and otherwise do what was necessary to clear their accounts as farmers and as collectors of other accounts due the crown.® In this year, however, the fact that the farms of some twenty of these boroughs had been granted to Queen Isabella and others released their officials from this duty.°® The farms alone which these towns were

accustomed to pay annually formed an appreciable part of the royal revenue. When Isabella’s dower was increased in 1327 by over £8700,

about a fifth of this amount was assigned from the farms of certain boroughs and their castles.°” In 1327 the farm to be paid by the city of London to the crown for the city and the county of Middlesex was re-

duced from £400 to £300.°° A separate farm of some £10 was also rendered by the city for the borough of Southwark.

The usage of assigning to specific objects revenues before they reached the exchequer seldom leaves evidence of the amounts brought by borough officials to their proffers; but the bailiffs of London once appeared with £30 13 s. 4d. in payment of the farm of £180, the bailiff of Stafford

with 314 marks, 7° the men of Shrewsbury with 76 s. 8 d., the men of Carlisle with £20.71 The farm of one royal borough was paid by an individual to whom the king had let it, and in a few other cases, a custos 82 Ballard and Tait, British Borough Charters, 1216-1307, pp. 172-173. °8 Red Book of the Exchequer (ed. Hubert Hall, London, 1896), III, 850-853, 870-873. * Charters of Lincoln, ed. Birch, pp. 56-58. 65 Shown in the Adventus vicecomitum at the beginning of each Memoranda Roll. °° By Michaelmas 1328 the farms of Derby, Shrewsbury, Hereford, Wallingford, North-

ampton, Rockingham, Cambridge, Bedford, Norwich, Ipswich, Yarmouth, Canterbury, Winchelsea, Portsmouth, Shaftesbury and Dorchester were entirely in the hands of Queen Isabella; those of Grimsby and Waltham, in the hands of Edmund, earl of Kent, that of Dunwich in the hands of Thomas, earl of Norfolk. The record is found with the sheriffs’ proffers on the Memoranda Rolls. °™See C.P.R. 1327-1330, 66-69.

°° By the charter of 1327. Charters of London, (London 1887 edition) ed. W. de Gray Birch, p. 52. °° In 1332 the amount was £10 (Letter Book, E, p. 282). In 1333 the city sublet the farm for £12 (p. 274). 7 L.T.R.M.R., No. 100, Michs., I Edward III. ™ K.R.M.R., No. 107, Michs., 7 Edward III.

Boroughs 115 placed by the king in charge of a town was responsible.” Bailiffs of franchises held by ecclesiastics, as the Memoranda Rolls show, sometimes

came to bring part of a farm due or sums collected by summons, and amongst these is occasionally a borough bailiff.

The crown had recourse to burghal agents also to aid in the levying and collecting of taxes and customs. The collectors and assessors were assured of this aid by writs de intendendo. There is an order addressed to the mayor, aldermen and sheriffs of London notifying them by letters patent of the appointment of William de Causton and William Haunsard as collectors of the fifteenth and tenth, and they are to act accordingly.7* The mayor and jurats of Leicester were to act as witnesses for the tallage collectors in that borough.’* At times the order was more general, as that to the citizens, good men and commonalty of London to be intendant to Richer de Refham, appointed in 1328 to assess and collect the twentieth.”®. Again one may find the local officers associated with the assessors of that region.

Such was the case in 1332 in York when the mayor of the borough was associated with a collector of the tenth and fifteenth."* Not only were the borough officers used to aid in the collection of the tenth and fifteenth, but the customs from wine and other articles were gathered with the aid of local agents. The mayor, bailiffs, and approved men of Southampton

were ordered to allow certain named persons to import wine free of toll.7”.

At times the local administrators aided in other revenue matters such as that illustrated by the writ sent to the mayor and sheriffs of London to allow the keeper of the king’s exchanges there to assess and levy a fifteenth on ministers of the exchanges in that city.7* A writ of aid of a slightly different character was that directed to the mayor and bailiffs

of Oxford to aid the king’s clerk in the collection of divers rents that were to be collected there for the House of Converts.”® Yet another version of the same general story is seen in the writ de intendendo issued 7? John de Pulteney in 5-6 Edward III was farmer of the king’s vill of Dartford (Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 34.). In 1327, according to the record of the proffers, at Kingston-on-Hull, Windsor, Andover and Appleby. At Windsor the custos of the town was that of the castle, at Andover he was custos of the vill and the hundred. "° Cal. Letter Books .. . London, Bk. E, p. 296; cf. Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls... London, 1323-1364, 31.

74M. Bateson, Records of the Borough of Leicester, II, 41.

7 CFR, IV, 91. "° C.P.R. 1330-1334, 358, cf. the order concerning London, ibid., 359. 7 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 42. 7®C.C.R. 1333-1337, 549-550.

7°C\P.R. 1327-1330, 334.

116 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 to the bailiffs of Lincoln in favor of John de Warrenne, earl of Surrey, to collect £166 16s. 8 d.®°

There is an instance in which the borough officers were called upon

to control revenue that had been collected by another authority. The funds from the papal tenth ordered in 1334 were received in England by agents, the Bardi and Peruzzi. A writ forbade their representatives from paying out such funds, and there is an order to the mayor and sheriffs of London to arrest and seize all such money, in whosoever hands it be found, and to keep it safely until the king is satisfied as to sums due him.*? Breach of trust in revenue matters also concerned borough officers. ‘The mayor and sheriffs of London were to arrest John Vincent, late receiver of issues of the counties of Ponthieu and Montreuil and guard him and have him before the exchequer.* If the local officers aided in the collection of royal funds, they also helped to spend them. Professor Willard has given a summary treatment of the assignment system, a method of payment extensively used during

the period.** The agents of the boroughs brought little cash to their proffers because they largely claimed credit by writs which had authorized them to make expenditures.** The mayor and aldermen of London were

presented with letters patent that ordered them to pay the queen £11 from the farm of Southwark.®® The bailiffs of Lincoln were to pay William de Ros 75 marks from their farm, as were the bailiffs of York, and both were assured credit for the amount thus advanced as against their respective boroughs’ charges at the exchequer.°* One hundred pounds was granted from the farm of Norwich in 1333.87 London’s farm contributed £40 for a chirographer of the common bench, a sum expended under burghal direction.*® Amounts mentioned as thus expended or assigned might vary from 10 marks to £1201 3 s. 2 d.8° Another plan is seen when the keeper of the king’s victuals in Newcastle was ordered to deliver to Richard Emeldon, mayor of that borough, victuals to the value of £100. °° Ibid. 517. Cf. to mayor and bailiffs of Lincoln, ibid, 53, 229; ibid, 27, 53, 229; ibid., 1334-1338, 109.

"CFR, IV, 427. 82 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 352.

8° J. F. Willard, ‘The Crown and its creditors, E. H. R., XLII, 12-19. *“ The usual entry on the adventus in the Memoranda Rolls is Nihil tulit nisi brevia. °° Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, p. 219. °° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 64. ®7 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 435.

°° Ibid., 399. For other examples cf. ibid., 1327-1330, 35, 66-69, 109, 249, 271, 312; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 64, 155, 167, 171, 269, 275, 473; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 13, 61, 379, 399, 435; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 78, 261, 541, 574; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 85, 178, 320, 366. °° C.C.R. 1333-1337, 78; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 37,

Boroughs 117 This amount was to be charged against the expenditure of one hundred odd pounds for military wages.” Toll privileges were granted for local purposes. Pavage, murage, pontage and quayage were important fiscal items as well as important items of public works. These rights, granted to boroughs for terms of from two to ten years, can also be considered as national in their effect on such matters as transportation and defense.®* A series of grants of the right to levy pavage, quayage and murage at Bristol ran in turn almost continuously from 1317 to 1326 and from 1334 to 1348.°* Such grants were at times royal undertakings delegated to local agents. The royal character of some of these can be definitely seen in the case of the grant to the mayor, bailiffs and good men of Newcastle of certain specified toll charges to be collected by any two of three named persons, one of whom was the mayor, to aid them in building a wall and defenses.** T'ransporta-

tion facilities were improved by such grants to the boroughs as that which allowed the bailiffs and good men of Lancaster pontage for three years on wares passing over a bridge there. The money obtained was to be applied to the repair of that bridge.**

The administration of these grants was supervised by the crown, even if the actual administration was delegated to the local agents. The bailiffs and good men of Derby were directed to appoint other collectors of pontage than those they had selected, as their appointees did not satisfy the crown.** Nor did the royal activity end merely with supervising the personnel; there were definite orders to the boroughs to improve their local public works and highways. In 1322 the mayor and bailiffs of York were ordered to cleanse all the streets and lanes of the city, as the king detested the abominable smell abounding in said city more than in any other city of the realm.*° In 1336 officials at Newcastle-on-Tyne were directed to clear away offal and refuse before the castle gate, in the ditches, and upon the moat.®” The mayor and bailiffs of Cambridge were ordered to pave and clean their streets.°® Oxford’s mayor was likewise ordered °° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 385.

°t Public Works in Medieval Law, ed. C. T. Flower, Selden Society, I, xxiu-xxv. °? Bristol Charters, ed. N. D. Harding, pp. 52-105. °° C.P.R. 1327-1330, 3-4; cf. ibid., 461. "4 [bid., 1330-1334, 4; cf. ibid., 514; ibid., 1327-1330, 35, 326. °° [bid., 374. For murage grants, cf. [bid., 96, 106, 377, 455; 1330-1334, 48, 268, 273, 532. For pontage, ibid., 1327-1330, 200, 326, ibid., 1330-1334, 4, 49, 514; ibid., 1334-1338, 12, 21, 228. For quayage, zbid., 1330-1334, 64, 266, 431. For pavage, zbid., 1327-1330, 41, 369, 457; ibid., 1330-1334, 37, 75, 183, 511, 547. °° C.C.R. 1330-1333, 610. °" C.C.R. 1334-1337, 697.

"* Rot. Parl. Ul, 48; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 554, 66.

118 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 to distrain all persons holding tenements in his borough if they failed to repair their streets. Should the mayor fail to act, the chancellor was ordered to do so alone.®® The mayor of London in 1331 was ordered to have the local bridge repaired.*°° Evidence of the royal interest in local improvements because of their general character 1s again attested by the order to

the treasurer and barons of the exchequer to allow the borough officers of Newcastle £40 on their farm of £100 for work done by the town on its bridge.*°*

The toll grants given were at times revoked or modified. It was custom-

ary to guard against charging two tolls on the same article even for two projects. The mayor and lawful men of Nottingham were ordered in 1334 not to ‘intermeddle with the levying or collecting of any customs for enclosing said town because there had been a toll charge for paving and levying’ which had escaped the king’s recollection, and a double charge would be oppressive.*°? The grant of tolls was circumscribed by exemptions granted to other boroughs from all such charges throughout the realm. The mayor and sheriffs of London were repeatedly ordered not to levy any such charges from tolls against burgesses of exempted

towns.*°? Religious orders were likewise exempted from such toll charges.*°*

The local administration of these borough toll privileges did not preclude the administrators of the grants, even if they were local officers,

from judicial supervision by the crown. C. T. Flower has shown that Bracton definitely assigned the correction of all cases resulting from neglect to repair roads in boroughs and cities to royal jurisdiction, not burghal.’°°

The king might also employ a borough official to supervise the work of his own administration, as when he directed the sheriff of Nottingham to repair the king’s gaol and the hall of the pleas of the county by view

and testimony of the mayor of the town.’ The crown delegated to local officers for execution such matters as the order to arrest and distrain the property of the Scali, ‘and to turn over to the Bardi and Peruzzi the goods so taken.’ Moreover the mayor of London °° C.P.R. 1330-1334, 208. 109 C.C.R. 1330-1334, 102; cf. ibid., 47. 101 C.C.R. 1330-1334, 192; cf. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 147.

102 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 315; cf. ibid., 390; ibid., 1327-1330, 82; Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, pp. 239, 240, 248. 7° [bid., Bk. E, p. 248; cf. ibid., pp. 254-255, 256, 263, 303. For exemptions in favor of foreign merchants ibid., pp. 265, 299, 272, 287. 1° Ibid., Bk. E, p. 239.

05 Public Works in Medieval Law, ed. C. T. Flower (Selden Soc., London 1923) IL, Ivii-lviii; Bracton, ed. Woodbine, III, pp. 136-137 (f. 210 b). 100 C.C.R, 1327-1330, 452.

Boroughs 119 was sent a special order to detain certain members of the Scali and their goods.*°* Again the local authorities were ordered to call attention to the activities of foreigners who were causing the king’s subjects to suf-

fer ‘spoliations’. The sheriffs of London were to inform all citizens, merchants and mariners of these deeds, and they in their turn were to inform the king of France’s envoys.*°* The use of the borough authorities to issue general proclamations was not limited to the unusual. The mayor and bailiffs of Bristol and the bailiffs of Ipswich were to ‘diligently keep

the king’s peace’ and enforce the statutes of Winchester and Northampton.*°?

The crown was willing to aid the local authorities in their attempt to regulate the traffic of their boroughs. The king sent an order to the bailiffs of Hereford in answer to an appeal from the local burgesses by which the borough officer was to forbid in the king’s name iron-wheeled carts from plying their trade in that borough on pain of forfeiture.*7° The entire subject of the administration of royal lands must be treated because the crown used the local officers to aid in its conduct. At once the

problem of the position of the mayor of London and of the mayor of Newcastle-on-T'yne demands explanation. By the London charter of 1327 the mayor of the city was to be the local escheator.*** In 1329 was issued an order to charge to him wardships, marriages and other things pertaining

to the office in the city from 6 March 1327.*1* The orders sent to the ‘mayor and escheator’ are usually of the definite type that one would expect addressed to an escheator.'’*? Mandates to the escheator of London,

and ipso facto the mayor, do not differentiate the two administrative personalities, as for example the command to repair the gates of the New

Temple. Not only does this writ order the mayor and escheator to repair these gates but it does not distinguish in the body of the order the two administrative personages.’** The reason why the mayor is given the position of escheator is stated in the grant made to the burgesses of Newcastle in 1332. The crown allowed the mayor of Newcastle the escheator’s 07 Ibid., 40.

108 Tbid., 1330-1333, 561. Cf. Alice Beardwood, Alien Merchants in England, 1350-1377,

Their Legal and Economic Position (Cambridge, Mass., 1931). 109 CPR. 1330-1334, 290. 110 C_PLR, 1330-1334, 25.

111 Historical Charters of London, ed. Birch, 346; Tout, Chapters in Mediaeval Administrative History Yl, 49; R. R. Sharpe, London and the Kingdom, I, 160, C.C.R. 132712 C.C.R, 1327-1330, 475; cf. 1330-1333, 504; 1333-1337, 569.

8 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 145. For other examples cf. ibid., 436; ibid., 1330-1334, 504, Cal. Letter Books .. . London, Bk. E, p. 224; C.F.R., IV, 430, 458. 116 C.C.R, 1327-1330, 580.

120° The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 office because the burgesses were ‘impoverished by the wars of Scotland

... and have incurred great costs in saving the town against the Scots and are not now burdened by escheators and subescheators in those parts.’**°

In one instance, the mayor and aldermen of London acted in a capacity usually exercised by an escheator or by a special inquisition commission.

This occurred when they jointly certified to the age and capacity of an heir to dispose of his rents and tenements.**® Much the same line of duty

as that usually performed by an escheator occurred when the mayor of Carlisle was commanded to act as a custodian of disputed lands and to

deliver the same into the hands of the king’s escheator.**" | The problem of differentiating between the duties of the mayors as such and as royal administrative officers because of their official capacity as escheators also exists in the case of the sheriffs of London. The only

safe guide to use in classifying the orders sent to these officers is the content of each demand. If the writ is one which would normally go to all the sheriffs of the realm, then that particular order has not been considered here.

Purveyance by borough officers was not uncommon. London had to

furnish 100 quarters of wheat which its local officers purveyed and bought for the crown."*® The bailiffs of Great Yarmouth were ordered to purvey 20 lasts of red herring for the king’s household and the same was to be charged against the borough’s farm.**® A general mandate 1ssued to all sheriffs, bailiffs and other officers directed them to aid the royal officer appointed by the great wardrobe to purvey for the king.*”° During the war the wardrobe came into a prominent place in royal administration.*** In London alone private individuals were given indentures varying from 59 s. 8d. to 11 s. 2 d. for meat, fish and oats, which articles

were all purveyed by the officers of the great wardrobe but under the general direction of the municipal sheriffs.7? To store the supplies purveyed for the armed forces, the mayor and bailiffs of Newcastle were to 115 CLFLR., IV, 330.

118 Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls ... London, 1323-1364, 22; cf. 89. 117 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 209. 118 C,C.R. 1333-1337, 614. 11° Tbid., 1327-1330, 188. 120 C PLR, 1327-1330, 188.

793 "Tout, Chapters, III, 52-54.

22 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 276. Royal and other ministers (i.e local agents) were specifically

ordered not to molest or aggrieve John Pulteney of London, contrary to the order that purveyance was not to be taken, against the vendor’s will, unless immediate payment was made in his case (zbid., 287).

Boroughs 121 provide suitable warehouses.*”* The local agents performed their duty, but the burgesses of the borough were not recompensed for the seizures of the houses. As a result a year later the crown answered their petitions for some

recompense for the use of their buildings by ordering the keeper of the king’s victuals at that borough to make suitable adjustments.***

The crown naturally sent orders to the sea coast towns to aid in the regulation of foreign trade and general passage regulations. Writs required the mayor and bailiffs of Southampton to allow John Trussell and Theobold Trussell to cross the seas from that port.**° The mayor and bailiffs of Faversham, on the other hand, along with the local officers of the Cinque Ports and Ipswich received mandates to deny passage to certain persons.*7°

The change of the seat of royal administration from Westminster to York was made necessary by the Scottish wars.??” The removal to the northern capital caused London citizens to protest, an action that would be forthcoming today from any city about to lose the great attraction, financial as well as political, of the nation’s capital. The king thanked the Londoners for their solicitude and counsel but ‘it seems to the king and his whole council that it will be necessary for the ordinance to move north to remain in force.’ The crown ordered the petitioners to ‘aid the king’s ministers coming to London’ for the purpose of transporting the exchequer to York.’** Along the same line we find the order addressed a few years later (1334) to the mayor and sheriffs of the city to supply sufficient carriage to transport money north to York.*?? At York too, the crown had need of the local authorities to facilitate royal administration. The borough was called upon by the sheriff of the county to repair bars at the newly established exchequer,’*° and the mayor and bailiffs were ordered ‘to cause as many smiths, tailors and carpenters’ to be ‘elected’ as the king’s pavilioner ‘will inform them are needed.’*** , A very important administrative service rendered by the local agents with respect to revenue and the exchequer was to guard against the with123 Tbid., 29.

124 Ibid. 200. 128 Tbid., 1330-1333, 158.

12° Ibid., 165. For general orders of this type cf. ibid., 1327-1330, 406; ibid., 1330-1333, 397-398; ibid., 1333-1337, 461. **T Tout, Chapters, II, 56-60, Francis Drake, Eboracum (London, 1736), p. 103. 8 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 165, Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls ... London, 1323-1364, 29, Dorothy

M. Broome, Exchequer Migrations to York in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, Essays in Mediaeval History Presented to Thomas Frederick Tout, p. 292. °° C.C.R. 1333-1337, 269; Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 31. 189 C,C.R, 1333-1337, 163.

131 [bid 100.

122 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 drawal of coin or silver from the realm. A mandate in the fine rolls is addressed to some eighty-five localities and their officers. Some of the places are not boroughs. In all cases the mayors, sheriffs (London) or bailiffs are to prevent all exportation of silver,**? The mayor and bailiffs of

Great Yarmouth were ordered to stop any exchange of florins by merchants or pilgrims for the purpose of exportation.*** The municipal authorities of London were to proclaim the law that the half pennies

and farthings struck off at the metropolitan mint were to be legal tender.734

In summarizing the activity of the borough agents which aided the crown’s administration of land, revenue, and public works, a safe generalization is that no subject was too minute for their attention and none too

great. Matters of policy were referred to the boroughs and their representatives as well as matters of detail. In the main, however, the activities

of the borough officers were limited in scope to the type of activity known as ministerial rather than to that known as administrative. The crown usually did not allow the local representatives discretionary power

but rather delegated to them specific tasks that they were to perform, tasks that did not require judgment but rather action. Representative Functions

The crown had recourse to local officers in parliamentary elections and in obtaining representation for crown councils. The sheriff regularly sent to the bailiffs of boroughs a copy of the writ received from the king requiring that borough to send two representatives to the ensuing parliament.**° London in 1326 elected six and in January 1328 four repre-

sentatives, in the former instance arranging that two, in the latter two or three, of these should attend the parliament.**® In September 1332 four were chosen by the city to serve in the parliament at Westminster’®” and for the parliament at York the following December three were designated of whom at least two were to attend.738 Just how many of the boroughs sent members to parliaments and how

many of the members elected attended, or failed to attend, is nowhere recorded. A study of the parliament at Northampton in 1328 and that at Westminster in 1332, based on the writs of expenses seems to show that 182 C.F.R. IV, 347. 188 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 529. 184 Ibid. 675.

**° Cal. Letter Books .. . London, Bk. E, pp. 227, 229. °° Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 51. 187 Ibid. 94.

*“° Cal. Letter Books .. . London, Bk. E, p. 282.

Boroughs 123 a majority of the ninety-six boroughs to which writs were addressed failed to send members."®® Professor Pollard, from the same type of evidence,

held that election to parliament was no guarantee that attendance followed.'*° However, Miss McKisack has shown that to judge the number of borough representatives at a parliament by the writs of expenses recorded is faulty, because burgesses attended without obtaining them or at least without having them enrolled.*** The fact that expenses for members in attendance at times are not mentioned should not cause one to forget that the boroughs did pay their representatives. The usual rate was two shillings per day, though London granted its members as high as twenty shillings a day.**? The city at one session held in Lincoln in 1327 allowed its representative £10 for a nine-day duration of parliament.'** The allowance to a representative at the York parliament of February 1328 was in excess of 8 marks.**4

The personnel of the burghal representation included a number of municipal officials and persons who were formerly or subsequently such officers. The parliaments of Northampton and Westminster, (1328, 1332) had six mayors (one of whom represented a county), three bailiffs, and six aldermen as members.**° Representative burgesses or merchants were also sent in response to the king’s writ to confer on various problems in special assemblies or before the king’s council. In January 1328 representatives of merchants of twenty-eight towns assembled in the chapter house at York to discuss the question of the removal of the staple beyond seas.**® In May 1336 four merchants were elected and sent by borough officials of each of twenty-one towns to an assembly apparently to consider a wool grant.*47 At this non-parliamentary council held by the king at Northamp*8° Chambers, ‘Members elected to parliament, 1327-1332’ (an unpublished thesis, University of Colorado Library), pp. 27, 34-37. #40 A. F. Pollard, Evolution of Parliament (2d edition, London, 1926), p. 110; cf. pp. 316-319.

*4t May McKisack, The Parliamentary Representation of English Boroughs in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1932), pp. 76-81. Professor Willard in Essays Presented to James Tait, p. 417, advances the same opinion. +4 Cal. Letter Books ... London, Bk. E, pp. 214-15. 143 Cal. Plea and Mem Rolls .. . London, 1323-1364, 30. Rochester paid its two representatives £10 (C.P.R. 1327-1330, 107; cf. ibid., 419, 420; 1330-1333, 177, 1333-1337, 95, 137-138, 348-350).

44 Memorials of London, ed. Riley, pp. 169-170. 145 Chambers, op. cit., 27, 34-37; cf. Cal. Letter Books .. . London, Bk. E, p. 167, for Conduit, a London mayor; Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 57-58, for Richard de Betoyne, another London mayor; and C.P.R. 1327-1330, 428, for Simon Cullebere a member for Bedford who became mayor in 1329. 4° Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls ... London, 1323-1364, 52-55. 47 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 674.

124 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 ton in June 1336 relations with France were also discussed.*** In the great council at Nottingham, September 1336, were present, in addition to the burgesses, representatives of over forty merchants—who granted the king a subsidy on wool.**

In addition to formal writs of election for parliaments and other assemblies, the crown addressed orders to borough officials to select specially

trained or qualified persons for consultation. ‘he mayor of Oxford was ordered to come with four lawful men to Westminster to consider certain matters concerning the boroughs; and a similar letter was sent to the chancellor of the University.*®° In 1327 the mayor and commonalty of London

sent a letter to the king deprecating the imposition of a loan on wool, leather and woolfells in the port of London because none of the merchants of the city had been consulted before the king and his council.*** At Bristol

a local ordinance of 1321, because the men of the community had very often been summoned to hear mandates of the king touching the status of the town and the commonalty yet contemptuously withdrew and came not on the day set, accordingly imposed a fine of 6 d. to the use of the town upon each delinquent.*®? At London in 1330 there is record of the mulcting of one of the 24 sent to Windsor who withdrew without official consent.'°? Other instances of the appearance of borough officials are indicated

in a writ to the mayor of Sandwich commanding him to be before the king’s council at Westminster to inform the king about certain matters upon which the crown desired his advice;*** and in an order to the mayor and sheriffs of London, in 1332 to be before the king and bring the aldermen with them to discuss certain business.1°> When the crown interfered in inter-borough disputes it required the local authorities to select representatives to be sent to the council to discuss affairs.1°° Amongst the well known deputations of estates which were present at Kenilworth shortly

after 13 January 1327, when William Trussell as procurator of all the Jand and of parliament renounced allegiance to Edward II,*°’ was one consisting of Londoners. The record of the payment of their expenses for 148 Dignity of a Peer, IV, 458-461. *4° Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, pp. 299-300. 160 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 332.

151 Cg], Plea and Mem. Rolls . .. London, 1323-1364, 32. 152 Tittle Red Book of Bristol, ed. F. B. Bickley (Bristol and London, 1900) I, 5. 68 Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, p. 234. 154 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 283. A similar writ was sent to five named persons, one from

Sandwich, two from Winchelsea, and two from Southampton. .

155 Cg], Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 94; also Annales Londonienses,

pp. 241-243, 248-249.

166 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 693; Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls ... London, 1323-1364, 35-36, 38.

187 Annales Paulini, p. 324, for detail, M. V. Clarke, Medieval Representation and Consent (London, 1936), pp. 185-193.

Boroughs 125 this particular service shows that there were others besides the three who are named*°® and that they were not all members of parliament.*°°

Military Affairs

Borough officers were used rather generally in the conduct of the armed forces and military affairs. Commissions of array are found addressed

to burghal officers. To resist anticipated rebellion in 1330 the Mortimer government generally addressed such mandates to mayors and bailiffs or to bailiffs.*°° The bailiffs of Beverley were in 1327 ‘to marshal defensible men at Carlisle’ on ‘pain of forfeiture of body and goods.’?** Again in the seventh year of the reign the bailiffs of the same town were ordered to array all men between sixteen and sixty from whom they were to collect 50 hobelers and 50 archers.*® At times the local authorities were granted discretionary power as to the size of the force. The order in 1327 to the mayor, aldermen and whole community of London, as well as to the mayors and bailiffs of forty-two towns, directed that they send ‘to the king . . . as many men of the city as they shall deem fit considering the necessity, and that they will cause | each to be armed with suitable arms... and provided with a horse to the value of 30s. or 40 s.... to set out against the Scots. The king will make them recompense in this behalf and he wills that their granting of this request shall not prejudice their liberties.’***

One may obtain some idea of the relative size of the boroughs from their contributions to the armed forces. London in 1327 and again in 1334 followed older practice in furnishing 100 horsemen and 100 footmen.*®

Certain boroughs were ordered in 1333 to provide specific numbers of men. The mayor and bailiffs of York were to contribute 100. The bailiffs of Beverley were to ‘elect’ 80; the bailiffs of Scarborough, 30; the bailiffs of Ripon, 40; the bailiffs of Pontefract, 40; and the mayor and bailiffs of Kingston-on-Hull, 60.7%

Naval preparations were also the concern of the borough authorities 158 Ca], Plea and Mem. Rolls... London, 1323-1364, 30; Cal. Letter Books .. . London, Bk. E, p. 222.

*5° Of the six elected to this parliament, two of whom were empowered to act (Return of Members to Parliament, pt. I, p. 76), only two are named as amongst those at Kenilworth. 100 CPLR, 1327-1330, 572.

161 Poulson, Beverlac, I, 97. 102 hid. 1, 98, 102.

108 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 118; Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 41, 91. 164 Cy], Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 41, 91; Cal. Letter Books ... London, Bk. E, pp. 2-4. 205 CCR, 1333-1337, 90-91.

126 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 under royal direction. The mayor and sheriffs of London in 1355 were to cause all ships of 40 tons to be ready and manned for Scotland. They were to use 60 marks of a grant of 500 marks that they had made to the crown for general military purposes for this particular service.*®* This order was executed by having the necessary commission given to Roger de Guldes-

burgh and James de Kyngeston who were ‘proved’ by the mayor and aldermen.*®* The borough officers of Bristol, Southampton, York and, of course, the Cinque Ports all received orders of this general type.*®

Not only did the crown expect and receive the aid of the borough officers in arraying troops and preparing ships, but arms, supplies and even

wages were items that were the concern of the local authorities under royal direction. A writ sent to the mayor, aldermen and sheriffs of London in 1336 ordered them to raise and equip a force of 7200.18 The mayors’ accounts of Leicester showed an expenditure for the year 13341335 of over £26 for hobelers sent to Scotland.?”° The sheriffs of London in 1334 were ordered to spend enough from the city’s farm to furnish 2000

arrows.'"* And in the following year they received notice to pay John Gray 440 marks of the 500 marks recently granted the king for military purposes. *”?

It was one thing for a borough to receive credit for the expenditure made in favor of royal armed forces and another to receive recompense for the expenditure. The borough of Dunwich had a claim for over £400 10 s. adjusted in the first year of Edward III though the claim dated from the campaigns of Edward I.*7* The men of Dunwich had to wait a long time to collect, and one wonders if the internal affairs of the realm did not hasten the long-delayed liquidation of the debt. As has been suggested, supplies were handled by borough officers for the royal military establishment. The case of the purchase of the arrows by the London sheriffs is in point. In addition, the borough officers were charged with the duty of storage. The mayor of Bristol received from the crown’s agent 500 pieces of iron and 5000 horse shoes and nails that the king had purchased for his Irish expedition. He was to guard them and have 16 Ibid. 435. 1°7 Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 91-92; cf. Riley, Memorials, 187190. For Newcastle, cf. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 204. 168 CPR, 1327-1330, 118; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 387; ibid., 1330-1333, 581; ibid., 1333-1337, 22, 25, 658, 664, 712. 169 Cal. Letter Books .. . London, Bk. E, p. 300. 179 Bateson, Records of the Borough of Leicester, Il, 16. 171. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 224.

112 Ibid. 435. 113 Ibid., 1327-1333, 84.

Boroughs 127 them ready for the campaign.*"* To facilitate a military expedition the mayor and bailiffs of Newcastle were to have suitable warehouses for the

king’s victuals ready to receive the royal supplies. ‘They were also to compensate the owners of the buildings commandeered.*” The typical entries given illustrate that the armed forces of the crown were in a sense the special object of borough aid and solicitation. Burghal officers served as a branch of the commissary department and likewise as

a recruiting branch of the armed forces. But the services rendered were not limited to service behind the lines. When forces were arrayed they were officered at times by the borough officials themselves, as in the case of the mayor and a former mayor of London who were in 1335 commissioned to lead the city’s contingent.*’® At times the crown appealed to the

borough officers to aid in raising, equipping, and even sustaining the armed forces.

Justice, Law, and Order Proclaiming the king’s peace was one of the important duties of the borough officers. The mayor and bailiffs of Cambridge, York, and Winchester, as well as the sheriffs of London were named along with the sheriffs who received writs in 1327 to proclaim the new king’s peace and the fact that Edward HI had assumed the government of the realm ‘upon his father’s resignation.”**” An order sent to the hailiffs of Ipswich, the mayor and bailiffs of Bristol and the mayor and sheriffs of London to proclaim and diligently keep the king’s peace and enforce the statutes of Winchester and Northampton, illustrate the custom.*7? A somewhat different

type of order, but after the same general tenor, is that found addressed to the mayor and aldermen of London in 1329 to proclaim the king’s peace and see that it “be observed while he was in France, where he had gone to do homage.’’*” In all these orders the local officers’ duty was to cause proclamation of the royal will to be made. Moreover, in 1331 to maintain peace between the archbishop and the cathedral chapter at York an order was sent to the mayor, bailiffs and posse of the city.**° Upon the conclusion of peace with Scotland in 1328 the sheriffs of London were notified to see that no injury nor insult be offered to Scottish merchants.*** 174 Tbid., 1330-1333, 581. For York cf. ibid., 1333-1337, 664. 178 Ibid. 1333-1337, 29. *7° Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 92. 17 C.C.R. 1327-30, 1. 178 CPLR, 1330-1334, 290. For Newcastle and York, cf. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 214, 294-295.

“™ Cal. Letter Books ... London, Bk. E, p. 238; Norton, The City of London, p. 122. 189 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 421.

81 Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 60.

128 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Whenever burghal affairs became too unsettled, the crown would send

a writ ordering a general proclamation either to warn the local officers or to give them his support in suppressing the disturbers. In this the town authorities were employed as was the sheriff in county affairs. One such order was that addressed to the mayor and bailiffs of Oxford to ‘make proclamation of the king’s peace, prohibiting unlawful assemblies . . . and to arrest and punish offenders after the proclamation had been made.’?® The burghal officers were not only to proclaim royal judicial will but to enforce it. Again, the mayor of London was sent a ‘warrant . . . to arrest and imprison in Newgate, John de Lacy and other malefactors in the city of London, who confederate therein forming unlawful assemblies and com-

mitting homicides and other crimes, and to certify the king as to their proceedings therein.*®* In January 1329 the mayor and 24 elected citizens

of London were directed by writ of privy seal to come to the king at Windsor to assure him of the cooperation of the city in trying persons involved in the recent attempt at rebellion on the part of Henry, earl of Lancaster.'%*

The subject of assemblies and confederacies, forerunners of the days of the great livery companies and general illegal or extra-legal operations of the days of the Wars of the Roses, called for many mandates such as that cited and others more general in their scope. The type can be illustrated by the order to London’s mayor and sheriffs which commissioned them to proclaim the fact that none but the king’s sergeants could go armed

and to arrest all who did so.?® Frequently the borough officers were used to arrest persons who were either violators of royal statutes or were particularly wanted by the crown. Not only were municipal officers to arrest anyone who violated the general proclamation against armed men.*** A general writ was sent to all mayors, sheriffs, and other ministers to ‘take and imprison all persons taking proceedings to impugn a judgment pronounced in the common bench.’*8® The crown by this order made possible a dispute between the boroughs and ecclesiastical authorities within their jurisdictions. A rather involved case of borough supervision of royal judicial activity that is unique, but which illustrates a practice which was general, 1s that created by royal command to the officers of London to make suitable 182 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 156; cf. order to London, zbid., 186. 183 Ibid, 155; cf. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 186. 184 Annales Londonienses, pp. 241-243.

185 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 661; cf. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 181, 189; Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls... London, 1323-1364, 45. 166 Rot, Parl. Il, 54. 1809 CPLR, 1327-1330, 515.

Boroughs 129 physical arrangements to house the royal justices appointed to deliver Newgate. The London officers in their turn delegated this duty to a clerk in return for a lease of land granted ‘in the suburb of London.’'8’ The general character of the use of the borough police authorities to arrest persons wanted by the crown is further evidenced by the order sent to the bailiffs of Norwich to imprison John Acreman in the city jail for safe keeping. There is no reason given for the act other than royal pleasure.’®® Again the mayor and sheriffs of London were commanded to make

inquisitions on various matters and on the basis of their findings to arrest or release persons accused or suspected.**

To grasp the wide range of use made by the crown of local police authority, one needs but read of such orders as that to the mayor and bailiffs of Oxford by which they were to turn over to the bishop of Ely £165 1s. found on a resident of their borough who had confessed to the robbery of the bishop.*®® Another order to the same borough’s officers demanded that they remove ‘the harlots and other women of bad repute from the vicinity of the Carmelite friars’ as the good fathers were disturbed in their religious rites by the general confusion and noise caused by the presence of these undesirables.*?* The general use of local officialdom for inquisitorial purposes 1s illus-

trated by the writ sent to the mayor and sheriffs to enquire touching the persons who, since the king undertook the governance of the realm, confederate to riot, rob and murder in the city of London, and to arrest and keep malefactors in prison until further orders.’*°? Of course the London police authorities were being used to aid in more firmly establishing the

new regime. In fact the city was rewarded for its support of the new order by a charter that created the mayor an ex-officio justice of gaol delivery at Newgate and also permitted the mayor and aldermen the exercise of the rights known as inmfangenthef and outfangenthef. Infangenthef had frequently been granted to boroughs.’®* At London 1n this period it amounted to the right of the mayor and aldermen, using jury trial, to judge and hang thieves taken in the city with mainour of stolen goods.*** Out187 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 313. 18° CPLR, 1334-1338, 158. 189° C.C.R, 1327-1330, 515, 146; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 283, 765, 371; ibid., 1327-1330, 151, 176,

213, 280, 418; Norton, The City of London, p. 112. 199 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 38. 101 C.P.R, 1327-1330, 254.

192 Ibid. 213.

*°8 See Ballard and Tait, British Borough Charters, 1216-1307, pp. 147-148.

°4 Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, pp. 275-280, 288-290; Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 48-50.

130 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 fangenthef seems of little real significance.’®*> At any rate this grant to London shows how by allowing the local officers to be used for royal ends their local power was extended. At York and a few other towns, the mayor and bailiffs had, by special grant, the power to take assizes of fresh force. Once royal justice had been done, we find that the crown called upon the local authorities at times to aid them in its execution. The mayor and bailiffs of Winchelsea were pressed into service to retain custody of the houses, ships, and goods of one John Herbert who had been found guilty of killing a man and had fled from justice.*** Another angle of the relations of the crown and the local authorities on the general matter of law and order is illustrated by the interference of

the crown in intra-burghal judicial matters. The mayor and bailiffs of Cambridge were not to release any clerk or layman injuring a clerk com-

mitted to prison by the chancellor of the university, but they were to detain such a person until released by orders of the chancellor himself.**’

The inter-borough aspect of crown interference and the use of local

authorities is also illustrated by the various gild-borough disputes. London gild disputes in 1330 anticipated the great craft fights of the last quarter of that century.*°* An order was sent from chancery to the mayor and sheriffs to suppress by means of corporal punishment exercised at their own discretion, the disputes and disturbances caused by victualler and non-victualler factions within the city.7%° As one would expect, the crown ordered the release of prisoners as well as their arrest. The bailiffs of Hereford were ordered to release John Mamelyn, who had been arrested as a rebel and enemy of Isabella but who had proved his innocence.?°° At times this clemency was obtained by writ

of supersedeas, as in the case of one sent to the mayor and bailiffs of Carlisle ‘to supersede until further orders the arresting of Bernard le PoJeter, the confiscating of his chattels, or the aggrieving him otherwise by reason of the foresaid indictments.’?°? *°° Tt is defined as the privilege of exercising jurisdiction over a dweller within the borough taken outside for a felony (Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, pp. 245-246, 276, note). This could normally have had effect in cases wherein burgesses of a town

such as London were granted exemption from pleading outside the walls. But the privilege of trying pickpockets and such persons was not important enough to justify the assertion of this right. 196 CLF.R. IV, 420.

7 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 559. For a somewhat similar situation in Oxford cf. C.\P.R. 13341338, 67.

°° E. F. Meyer, ‘Craft Gilds and Borough Government of the later Middle Ages,’ University of Colorado Studies, XVII (1930), 391-401. 199 C.P.R, 1330-1334, 36. 200 C.C.R, 1327-1330, 67.

7° [bid., 438. For a similar order to the mayor and bailiffs of Lincoln, cf. ibid., 77.

Boroughs 131 Among the orders sent to borough officers that can be classified under this general head of justice are a number treating of trade. One example may be given here because it illustrates the mediaeval method of obtaining justice. The sheriffs of London and the bailiffs of Kingston-on-Hull were ordered to seize and sell the goods belonging to certain foreign merchants who owed money to four London burgesses.?” At times there was interference with, or amendment of, local justice

by orders sent from the crown to the borough officers. The mayor and sheriffs of London were ordered to proceed with the plea of John Middleton ‘concerning a tenement, to a final judgment provided they do not render the judgment without consulting the king.?°* On the other hand, an entry in the London Letter Book shows, the crown ordered the sheriffs to in-

form the king more fully before they execute a judgment of outlawry against a woman. They were given fifteen days to do this. The local court had proceeded with the judgment because the king’s writ had come too late to stay 1t.?°*

Quite in line with royal interference in local justice were the orders sent to the borough authorities to excuse persons from being in any default for failure to appear at a particular court session. The mayor and bailiffs of Oxford were not to put the prior of St Frideswide in default, as he was in the king’s service.?°° ‘he same object was accomplished for a very different reason in the case of Edmund le Cheyne who had brought upon himself a suit because he had caused an injury to adjoining tenements by building an addition to Fleet prison. The crown addressed a mandate

to the mayor and sheriffs to stay any proceeding against him on that score.?°8

A mandate that gives grim evidence of the late revolt of Isabella also falls under this general head of law and order. It is a writ dated 1330 sent to the mayor and bailiffs of York, Bristol, and Carlisle to allow Hugh Depenser’s bones to be collected and buried.?" Since the borough coroner, while primarily a royal officer, was locally elected, he must be mentioned in any study that concerns the borough assistance given to the crown to enforce law and order. He bore the same dual aspect in the administrative order of things as did the London sheriffs and the mayor-escheators of London and Newcastle. More than a score of 202 Ihid.. 74, 208 C.C.R, 1330-1333, 477.

*°* Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, pp. 239-240. 208 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 451; cf. ibid., 87, 88, 369; 1333-1337, 163. 208 Ibid. 1333-1337, 534.

°° C.C.R. 1330-1333, 175, cf. another writ to the mayor and sheriffs of London, mayor and bailiffs of Newcastle and Bristol and the bailiffs of Shrewsbury (ibid., 1327-1330, 404).

132 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 other boroughs had coroners elected locally. ‘A special grant from the king was necessary for the exercise of this privilege.’?°* Gross has summar-

ized the duties of these borough coroners and their relation to the royal administrative system by stating that their relation to the rest of the municipal officialdom was similar to the position held by the county coroners with respect to the county sheriffs. The borough coroners were ‘generally associated’ with the reeve, mayor, bailiffs, or burghal sheriffs ‘in the hear-

ing of criminal pleas and sometimes in the administration of the borough.’*°°

From the examples given it will be seen that the crown used the borough officers for all manner of duties connected with law and order as well as justice in general. It also relied on their judgment for subsequent action. It used them to arrest and detain, to release and to amend royal justice. Finally, borough justice itself was subject to royal interference under orders, and these were executed by the borough officers. Domestic and Foreign Trade The Edwardian era is known as the era of commercial expansion.??° Foreign traders and alien merchants were active in the realm. One problem was to give protection to such traders as against the local tolls and gild

or borough regulations. The crown took it upon itself to foster this nationalization of commerce.”** But while favorably inclined toward certain alien commercial activity, it took care that its own subjects were pro-

tected. In effecting the liberalization of trade, the crown called upon various borough officers to execute royal orders and policies. The mayor and bailiffs of Bristol in 1330 were ordered to cause the release of the debts

owed by Firmin de Monsten because this merchant, as a subject of the king of France, had entered the realm under a treaty after peace had been signed.”’? To be sure the Bristol authorities had undoubtedly acted on good faith when they had arrested the Frenchman’s goods because they had been

acting on the general mandate sent out earlier to all local authorities to 208 Select Coroners’ Rolls, 1265-1413, ed. Charles Gross, Selden Society, xii. Because of

a gap within the records there is no reference to any coroner’s activity in London for the years under study in the Calendar of Coroners’ Rolls of London. 209 Select Coroners’ Rolls, xxvii-xxviil,; cf. ibid., 86-87; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 368-369; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 157.

72° Ashley, Economic History of England, I, 41; F. R. Sanborn, Origins of the Early English Maritime and Commercial Law, 265, 326, 354, 355. N. Isaacs, ‘Fault and Liability,’ Select Essays on the Law of Torts, 254, E. F. Meyer ‘English Craft Gilds and Borough Governments of the Later Middle Ages,’ University of Colorado Studies, XVII, 414-415; Alice Beardwood, Alien Merchants in England, 1350-1377, pp. 3, 38; Select Cases Con-

cerning the Law Merchant, ed. Hubert Hall, Selden Society, III, xxvii. 211 CPR. 1330-1334, 362, 397; ibid., 1334-1338, 431. 212 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 27.

Boroughs 133 ‘seize all goods and chattels of men and merchants of France, Normandy and Poitow’ for the purpose of paying for damages done to Englishmen.??® The entry illustrates the custom of reprisals or withernam. The method

of obtaining redress by seizing the goods, and at times the person, of a co-burgess or fellow subject was a sure way of obtaining immediate redress, but it led to reprisals. It was therefore carefully guarded both by the crown and the local authorities. For example, the king sent a writ to the mayor and sheriffs of London ‘commanding them to make careful inquiry from foreign merchants and merchants of the City as to the alleged seizure of the ship of William Cauntepu, called La James de Crotoy by Reymund Spian of Bayonne and others, and the seizure by the order of the king of France, by way of retaliation, of three vessels belonging to Alan Gille, Robert le Ropere, and Adam Strangewere.’ A letter from the mayor and echevins of Crotoy and of Mayoc to the ‘mayor and echevins’ of London asks the municipal authorities to assist in the recovery of Cauntepy’s vessel,

and a note to the effect that the letter and a copy of the reply were delivered to Adam Gille to be returned before Christmas. The answer of the mayor to the king’s request was that the ship had been taken by men of Bayonne as a reprisal and had been later seized in London and the owner could have the ship by the payment of £80 damages.?**

The local authorities did not always have their way. The London authorities were ordered to release certain French goods attached under

an earlier grant.” ‘The reprisal system was a cure that was apt to be worse than the original disease. The keeper of the wardrobe was ordered to release goods of Flemings seized by the mayor of Newcastle-on-Tyne as the burgesses of Newcastle desired to bring an end to the reprisals.?1® Withernam was not a political measure but of course led to political action. It was economic warfare that might well lead to actual hostilities. Because of its character the practice was guarded. Usually the crown sent a request for justice before the act was initiated. The duke of Brabant was asked to do justice in the case of a citizen of Winchester and restore a fine of 200 marks to him. Failure to do this would lead to reprisal.?*7 Had the duke failed to comply, the chances were that such action would have been taken as was done in the case of Bristol in 1328. At that time the mayor and bailiffs of that borough were ordered to arrest the goods of merchants of France, Normandy, and Poitou, save Amiens, in order to pay a claim of 18 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 298 . . . London. "24 Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 24, 26-27, 29. **° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 61. For Beverley cf. ibid., 62. For Southampton, cf. ibid., 69. 10 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 213. "11 Thid., 229.

134 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 one Roger del Hurne.??® Again a case may be cited to illustrate the procedure. The sheriffs of London and the bailiffs of Kingston were ordered

to seize and sell for debt the goods owned by the merchants of certain northern towns. Ihe crown had appealed to these continental cities without success, and now the borough officers were to institute withernam to

recompense four London merchants.??? |

The other side of the shield is shown by the order to the bailiffs of Scarborough to release a ship and other goods of a Hainault merchant taken by the local authorities to satisfy a debt of £7 due to one of their own burgesses. The king declared that the reasons for seizing the goods did not seem sufficient for instituting withernam.”*° ‘The custom of withernam was seemingly legislated out of existence in 1353.77}

The crown used the borough officers for other objects connected with foreign trade. Trading with the enemy, then as now, was illegal, and the local authorities were expected to stop it. ‘The mayor and bailiffs of Lynn

were to take surety of two local merchants that they were not taking a cargo to Scotland but beyond the seas. If the merchants could find surety that satisfied the borough officers of the trader’s legal intentions, the borough’s governors were to allow the vessels to sail.” Naturally the borough officers made mistakes and seized ships not destined for enemy ports or goods not intended for the enemy. Such was the case of certain ships that had been seized by the bailiffs of Blakeney and sent to Kingston-on-Hull for investigation. The bailiffs there were to decide if the confiscated articles were contraband.??? It should be noted that the local authorities acted in the capacity of what would today be called admiralty courts, a by no means unusual capacity for locally elected persons in royal administration. This function of admiralty jurisdiction was used at times not only to decide particular cases of fact but also to pass on matters of general policy. The mayor and sheriffs of London were ordered to investigate an involved case of ownership and use their discretion as to the best policy.?**

Domestic trade brought the local officers and the crown into even closer contact. The problem of withernam existed here likewise though 218 Ibid. 1327-1330, 340.

1° Ibid. 74-75; cf. ibid. 41. 220 Ibid., 213-224. For Southampton cf. ibid., 351. For Wynchelsea, ibid., 375. For Bristol, ibid., 1330-1333, 27.

221 Stats. of Realm, I, 340; F. R. Sanborn, Origins of Early English Maritime and Commercial Law, p. 335. But later cases are cited by K. M. E. Murray, Constitutional History of the Cinque Ports (Manchester, 1933), pp. 52-53, 179-180. 222. CPR, 1334-1338, 54.

°° C.CLR. 1333-1337, 348-349, For London, cf. tbid., 657-658. For Scarborough, ibid., 1327-1330, 186-187. For Hartlepool, ibid., 1333-1337, 77. *°4 [bid., 1327-1330, 186; cf. Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 29.

Boroughs 135 the statute of Westminster I in 1275 supposedly legislated vicarious liability out of existence for domestic transactions.””° In the first year of Edward III, fifty-two years after the enactment, the mayor, bailiffs and men of Bishops Lynn received a grant from the crown to the effect that ‘no one, whether foreigner or townsman, be molested, or his goods and merchandise arrested for any debt whereof he 1s not the principal debtor or surety .. . unless the said debt or trespass be known to concern the king specially.’?*® The grant was for five years. An argument arose concerning the exacting of tolls by Rye from Lon-

don merchants. The answers of the borough’s officers did not please London, so on 3 September 1327 the ‘mayor, aldermen and commonalty unanimously agree that withernam should be taken from the men of Winchelsea and Rye.’”??7 Just how the local bailiff was to act under the statute of Westminster I as the crown’s agent for its enforcement and at the same time act as the local agent to enforce withernam when declared is not detailed.

The wool trade was one that brought the borough and the crown into intimate relations. An interesting story of the trade can be had from the accounts of the meeting at York in 1328. London had sent three representatives to the assembly and one of them, Richard de Betoyne, a mayor of the city, had been mayor of the staple when it was located on the continent. Ihe assembled merchants and London representatives, save Richard, were in favor of keeping the staple towns in England. Richard was active,

however, and was laboring for a return to the old system. The mayor and | commonalty of York sent word to the mayor, sheriffs, aldermen, and commonalty of London that their representative was acting against what they considered the best interest of all. They asked that the metropolis take some action and deny or curb the activity of Richard. The Londoners sent a letter to the York burghal officers stating that their wishes were to retain the staple in England. ‘They also sent a letter to Richard commanding

him to ‘do nothing at the council of York against the wishes of the citizens.’ Charges and counter charges were made. An investigation by London of the conduct of Richard brought a general denial that Richard had been guilty of any charge made against him, and the London officers 728 Stats. of Realm, I, 33. N. Isaacs, ‘Fault and Liability,’ Select Essays on the Law of Torts, 254, F. R. Sanborn, op. cit., p. 335; Meyer, op. cit., pp. 414-415; E. R. Meyer, ‘Anent

the Statute of Westminster I and Liability’ St Louis Law Review, XVII, 1931, 22-26. Meyer, ‘Some Aspects of Withernam or the English Medieval System of Liability’ Speculum, VU (1933), 236-240. 220 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 29, 30.

**7 Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 26. For a case against London, cf. ibid., p. 90; for London v. Great Yarmouth, cf. ibid., pp. 180-181.

136 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 ‘requested York to treat Richard . . . with courtesy as the accredited repre-

sentative of the City of London.”?* The story illustrates excellently the role that the local representative played in the discussions of the general wool staple policy of the crown. In the furtherance of trade, the crown allowed a local representative to have custody of one piece of the recognizance seal. ‘The statute of the merchants had provided for such procedure. The mayor of Nottingham was in 1333 given charge of such a piece.?*°

The boroughs were used to enforce the staple ordinances.?°° The mayor and sheriffs of London were to see that the ordinance of Edward II was observed.*** ‘The king commanded the mayor of York to act as mayor

of the staple in that town until a mayor was selected. He was to have custody of the staple seal and to be in general charge of the observation of the ordinances.?°?

The crown by charter regulated, and at times interfered in, the acts of

borough officers concerning trade. The mayor of Cambridge and the chancellor of the University were specially authorized to regulate forestallers and regraters.”** The mayor and bailiffs of Southampton had improperly levied a toll charge on wool exported by certain merchants; they

were ordered to stop the practice.7** The borough of Great Yarmouth had been hindering the wool merchants of Norwich, a staple town, by their attempt to divert the export trade from Norwich. The bailiffs were to refrain from all such acts and to see that free transit was possible.?%° London officers and those of twelve other ports and boroughs in 1331 received a writ from the crown to elect a lawful man weigher of the staple

in their borough.**® Of course the local authorities were sent writs to cause one or two wool merchants to be elected to attend the York meeting mentioned previously and there to advise the crown on the general staple policy to be adopted.**" In the enforcement of the assizes of bread, ale, and wine the borough officers were frequently called upon by the crown to execute its wishes. A writ of the king in 1331 commended the London authorities for having

enacted an assize of bread, beer, and wine, bidding them see that it be 228 Ibid., pp. 51-54, 59.

229C.C.R. 1333-1337, 144; cf. C.P.R. 1334-1338, 242-243. 230 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 102.

781 Cal. Letter Books ... London, Bk. E, p. 212; cf. general order in C.C.R. 1327-1330, 116; also C.P.R. 1327-1330, 98-99; ibid., 1330-1334, 362-363. 232. C.C.R. 1327-1330, 134.

223 CPR. 1327-1330, 60. 224 CCR. 1330-1333, 578-579. 235 Ibid. 1333-1337, 102. 226 Ibid. 1330-1333, 318. 231 Ibid., 1327-1330, 237.

Boroughs 137 observed and that all kinds of victuals be sold at a reasonable price.?#® The

mayor, bailiffs, and approved men of Southampton were sent an order identical to that dispatched to the local custom collectors concerning the importation of wine and the tolls to be exacted. Certain persons were to be allowed to land wine quit of all tolls, and furthermore the local officers were to take it upon themselves to see that the representatives of the king’s butler in Southampton remitted any tolls erroneously taken.?9° The matter of quality and price of wine was the concern of the crown. Its wishes on these matters were to be enforced by burghal officers and authorities. The administration ordered the mayor and sheriffs of London to proclaim the illegality of selling diluted wine.?*° Winchelsea’s mayor and bailiffs received a writ to assist the local gauger of wine.?*' The metropolitan officers were to fix ‘by the counsel and advice of the aldermen and others of the city whom they shall see fit to summon, a price for the gallon (of wine) that the said merchant vintners may not suffer damages.’?4* The vintners of the realm had complained that England had become a victim of wine dumping by Gascon merchants and that the price scale enforced in England prevented the king’s subjects from making a living. The above order was the result. The local authorities were delegated the power to decide upon a policy that would save the local wine merchant. Not only were the

local authorities to fix the price but they were to investigate the entire subject of the wine trade and its relative costs in England and Gascony and base their price scale on their findings rather than on the previous royal assize of wine. ‘he crown, as it were, created the burghal authorities a special tariff commission.”**

The enforcement of assize ordinances was delegated to borough agents

including such royal ordinances as that on weight and measures.7** A Bristol ordinance of 1283 provided that brewers and others breaking the assize of ale be summoned before the mayor and bailiffs and indicted.?** At times the crown delegated a supervisory power rather than the actual administration of its assize ordinances. The mayor and bailiffs of Kingstonon-Hull were to admit Adam de Strickland to the office of the custody of °88 Cal. Letter Books . . . London, Bk. E, p. 219; cf. p. 261. 299 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 42, 47.

240 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 184, 185; Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls . . . London, 1323-1364, 45. 241 CPR, 1330-1334, 303-304. 242. C.C.R. 1330-1333, 545.

243 Ibid., 557-558, 561. 244 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 17, 21, 249, 251; ibid., 1334-1338, 15-19. Cf. Hubert Hall, Select Cases Concerning the Law Merchant, Selden Society, Il, xlii-li. *46 Tittle Red Book of Bristol, WJ, 222-223.

138 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 prisage of lead and small goods as they have given evidence that Adam had faithfully performed the duties of the office previously.?*° The crown and the borough were both concerned with the gild aspects

of fourteenth century trade. The crown had granted to the goldsmiths of London in 1327 a charter by which they could regulate their mystery and by which they were also to give aid to the mayors and other local officers ‘in all cities and towns of England where goldsmiths carry on their trade; they shall observe the same ordinances as those in London; and one or two from each city or town shall come to London to obtain from the mystery their fixed touch of gold and also their stamp of a puncheon with the leopard’s head.’**7 In line with the charter a mandate was sent to the mayor and bailiffs of Oxford to cause these regulations to be observed in that borough and to accept the resident goldsmith appointed by London to enforce the ordinances in Oxford.?*8 Likewise the crown granted the girdlers of London the right to organize and regulate their mystery. The same provision applied not only in the

city but ‘in all cities and towns in the realm, [where] the men shall elect one or two to see that the terms are observed.’ Any false work wherever

found was to be burned by the mayor or chief persons of the several towns.”* The bailiffs of Coventry and Bristol were sent an order to permit certain persons to buy and work tin in their town regardless of the ordinance concerning the garnishing of girdles.?°°

Interference of the crown through local officers in gild affairs also occurred in a dispute in London between the burellers and the weavers. The former claimed a charter from the crown to enjoy their mystery without belonging to the weavers’ gild. ‘This was denied as against both a royal grant and municipal ordinances by the weavers. ‘he crown ordered the mayor and sheriffs to investigate and try the case. The dispute ended

by the crown granting a charter that permitted the burellers to set up looms without belonging to the local weavers’ gild.?°* 24° C.C.R. 1330-1333, 257.

747 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 42-43; Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls ... London, 1323-1364, 61. 748 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 323. The grant of the London skinners in 1327, actually an ordin-

ance of the king and council, regulated the measurement and handling of furs and provided for scrutiny not only in the city but in the principal fairs of the realm (see Riley, Memorials .of London and London Life, pp. 153-154). 749 C.\P.R. 1327-1330, 40, Riley, Memorials of London and London Life, pp. 154-158. 209 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 379. Whether this grant of 1 Edward III gave the right to the London members of the gild to supervise the work of other boroughs is a moot question. Cf., York Memorandum Book, ed. Maude Sellers (Surters Society) I, p. xxxvii, Calendar of Letters from the Mayor and Corporation of the City of London, 1350-1370, ed. R. R. Sharpe, p. 69; Gross, Select Cases, Concerning the Law Merchant, 1, 170. Meyer, ‘Craft Gilds and Borough Governments’, Usuiversity of Colorado Studies, XVII, 402-403. °° Cal. Letter Books .. . London, Bk. E, pp. 291, 296, 298.

Boroughs 139 Stull another aspect of the crown’s interference with gild-borough relations is illustrated by the fines collected by the royal administration for fail-

ure to enforce the various gild standards. The bailiff of Oxford, for example, accounted to the crown for the fines he collected from cordwainers for poor workmanship.*°?

One may conclude that foreign and domestic trade and assizes were fields of activity in which the borough officers were frequently called upon by the crown for all types of activity, ministerial as well as administrative in character. From merely proclaiming the royal pleasure to investigating the workings of price-fixing devices and adopting a policy upon their findings, the borough officers acted as royal agents of administration.

Miscellaneous Functions

There remain a few matters of royal administration which either defy classification on the basis adopted or whose character is so mixed that it has seemed better to place them in a separate class. An order under the privy seal to the sheriffs of London in 1328 directed that they receive the coronation stone from the abbot of Westminster and take it to Queen Isabella in the north of England.**? In their return, the sheriffs replied that the convent refused to deliver the stone until they had treated of the matter with the king and his council.”°* The effect was to prevent the return of the famous stone to Scotland.?*®

Scholastic affairs account for a unique entry. The mayor and bailiffs

of Oxford were ordered to proclaim that none were “to hold study or exercise scholastic arts elsewhere than in the king’s universities.” “Uhe sheriff of Lincoln in 1334 was ordered to go to Stamford in person and forbid

any masters or scholars he found there from disobeying the royal proclamation.”°® The mayor and bailiffs of Oxford were also directed to enforce the mandate.

Ecclesiastical affairs are responsible for other orders. The duty of guarding chantry endowments was assigned in 1331 to the mayor and escheator of London who was to investigate the withdrawal of rents and make such amends as he saw fit according to the custom of the city.?°? °52 Pipe Rolls, 3 Edward III, m. 20; 7 Edward III, m. 14; 8 Edward III, m. 9, Charter Rolls, 3 Edward III, m. 39; 8 Edward III, m. 29. °°? Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls ... London, 1323-1364, p. 63. 254 Ibid, p. 65.

°° See Kenneth Vickers, England in the Later Middle Ages, p. 142. According to the Great Chronicle of London (ed. A. H. Thomas and I. D. Thornley, London, 1938), p. 32, one precious relic which came from Scone was delivered to the Scots in 1328. 250 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 330.

207 Ibid. 1330-1334, 314.

140 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 An earlier order granted power to the mayor and commonalty of London

to amend defects caused by the withdrawal of chantries of the church of St Thomas.?°* A writ of 1330 directed mayors, as well as sheriffs and other ministers, to arrest and imprison all persons taking proceedings to impugn a judgment pronounced in the common bench whereby the king

recovered against the bishop of Bath and Wells the presentation to the archdeaconry of Wells.”°° Also somewhat vague in import is an order to the officials of Hull in 1330 to maintain the king’s rights to the prise of wine in that port as against the archbishop of York.?® Conclusion The scope of activity that involved borough aid in royal administration

was almost as inclusive as administration itself. Mayors, burghal sheriffs, bailiffs, aldermen, burghal coroners, and resident burgesses all numbered among the servants of the crown doing every type of service. They assisted in collecting and disbursing royal funds, in raising, equipping and moving armed forces, in enforcing royal trade regulations, in executing the royal will in matters of peace, law and order. In fact no task was too small nor

was any matter too grave not to be found among the duties performed at some time by some borough officer or resident at the demand of the crown. Boroughs aided in the building of gaols, in the finding of warehouses for royal supplies, even 1n assisting the revolution of 1326-1327 that affected a change of dynasty. The crown called upon the boroughs to aid in enforcing, even at the expense of their own local commercial usages a trade policy tending to become national. Some local officers were ex-officio members of the royal administrative

service. Such were the mayor-escheators, the borough sheriffs and the bailiffs in their fiscal accounting at the exchequer. But these and other burghal agents as well more often appear as acting by virtue of the royal prerogative in response to special orders of the crown issued under the great or privy seal. Difficult problems were sometimes referred to the king

and council for settlement;”*? and the chancery,”® the council, or even parliament*** took part in action designed to smooth out differences between English merchants and the subjects of the counts of Hainault and Flanders or of the duke of Brabant. 268 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 58. 269 Ibid. 515.

200 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 31.

°° Notably the struggle between Yarmouth and the Cinque Ports (C.C.R. 1333-1337,

0 Cal Plea and Mem. Rolls .. . London, 1323-1364, 64-65, 67, 76. 793 Foedera, Il, Pt. ii, 83. 7°4 Cal. Plea and Mem. Rolls ... London, 1323-1364, 60, 64.

Boroughs 141 It was, of course, in the matter of trade that the crown was most active

in interfering in burghal affairs. Mention has been made above of the custom of delegating certain commercial powers to local agents. The individual craftsmen, so it has been shown, sometimes appealed to the crown against the rulings of the borough officers in their particular calling. More-

over when the mayor and sheriffs of London were asked to inform the king of the nature of charges against a city goldsmith for the violation of a local ordinance, the response was that he had been found guilty according to the charter granted by his majesty to the goldsmiths.?*

From the examples already cited, one concludes that not only did the crown use burghal officers to expedite royal administration, but the borough used the crown and its representatives to obtain their desired ends. If royal authority or power was temporarily delegated to locally selected officers, the crown permanently employed certain borough officers acting in a royal capacity for borough purposes. The boroughs were not used as mere agents all the time. They sent their representatives to aid the crown in devising policies of far-reaching import. Their advice was sought and their support courted. ‘These political islands were granted self-government and a degree of independence and freedom from royal interference. Yet their autonomy during the period under study did not remove them from the beck and call of the crown for assistance in war and in the execution of royal administration. In some cases the very loyalty of a borough to its independence was used to obtain a better administration of crown business. 205 Ibid. pp. 45, 62.


Heten M. Cam B Y 1327, the sheriff had long ceased to occupy the commanding, if not omnicompetent position he had held in the twelfth century. Whilst this ‘decline’ did not mean either less work, or a smaller staff, it did reflect the fact that there were now a number of rivals in the field; that he was no

longer the sole representative of royal authority in his district. The escheators had taken a great body of feudal work off his hands, the keepers of royal manors had relieved him of estate management, the collectors of subsidies were responsible for all the newer taxes, the commissioners of array had invaded his military sphere of action, the keepers of the peace were insinuating themselves into the field of police and justice. All of these depended on his co-operation for fulfilling their duties, but whether they

should be regarded as rivals or colleagues, they had contacts with the central government over which he had no control. Towards the earliest of his collaborators, however, his relations were slightly different. The coroner, like the knight of the shire, was elected in the county court, not appointed from headquarters, and the sheriff had to conduct the election. There was something of the understudy, and something of the critic on the hearth about the coroner; whilst he had his own duties, he sat with the sheriff and kept an eye on his proceedings at counties and tourns, and he might on occasion have to take on some of his duties. Besides the body of royal officials in the shire whose authority was, so to speak, parallel with the sheriff’s, there were, in many shires, stewards of liberties whose duties, roughly speaking, duplicated his. ‘They had the powers of a sheriff for most, though not all purposes, but whilst in some departments they dealt direct with the central government, in others they had to communicate through the sheriff and were thus not entirely independent of him. Such liberties would have their own coroners, as at a later

date they were to have their own justices of the peace; and their whole hierarchy of lesser officials corresponded to those of ‘the geldable’—the part

of the shire where the sheriff was supposed to control the personnel. ‘The administrative machinery of the shire, then, comprised three types of official beside the sheriff. There were the royal officials whose authority

144 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 was parallel to his, but whose functions were different; the officials of the liberties or franchises, whose authority was in a sense parallel to his, and whose functions were similar to those of himself and his subordinates; and

thirdly there were those subordinates who took their orders from him and were in various ways and in varying degrees controlled by him: hundred bailiffs, bailiffs errant, summoners, bedels and constables.

I, The Officials of the Liberties Of one great class of liberty, nothing falls to be said here. The boroughs, though paralleling in some respects the machinery of the shire, and dealing with the crown, for some purposes, through the sheriff, were yet bound to evolve peculiar administrative forms for handling their special

social, industrial, and fiscal problems. But of the ecclesiastical and lay franchises, greater and lesser, it can be said in general terms that the machinery of government was the same as that in the geldable parts of the shire. The lord of a liberty in England seems from the earliest days to have sought, as far as possible, to duplicate the royal system that was growing

up outside his lordship.* The privilege of the return of writs is the outstanding example of this process. When the new procedure for litigation over real property was developed under the Plantagenet kings, the realist barons of England, abandoning the vain hope of competing with a royal monopoly, seized upon the profitable and strategic function of serving the royal writs which the residents in their liberties (like themselves) found indispensably necessary. Soon they were blandly claiming the return of writs as a liberty going back to the days of Edgar and Ine;? a world without royal writs was inconceivable. Henry III, finding that the sheriff had connived at the franchise-holders’ assumptions, made them, in some cases

at least, pay for the privilege, but did not withdraw it. The exercise of this important and profitable duty meant both close co-operation with the sheriff and, to some extent, the duplication of his machinery for the serving and returning of royal writs. Each new invention on the royal side thus

tended to produce a parallel development on the seignorial sidc; lords sought and obtained the right to have their own coroners and justices of various sorts, and in their private hundreds found the necessity ot retaining or introducing the same kinds of bailiffs and constables that existed in the royal hundreds.

The main points of interest that arise, then, in connection with the officials of the liberties are first those of personnel and secondly those of 1937) p. 2 et passim.

, °E.g., Bodl. MS., Wood Empt., 1, fol. 105 (Glastonbury).

, Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 145 the relation to the royal government of the franchisal staff. Only cautious generalizations can be attempted; local variations must have existed, especially with liberties of pre-conquest origin, and only a few detailed studies of particular liberties exist; but the records of exchequer, chancery and the courts give certain definite information for this period, and evidence of an earlier and later date may fairly be used. The appointment of officials was, of course, in the hands of the lord of the liberty. Where a hereditary stewardship existed, the actual work

was done by an under-steward appointed by the family who held the office in fee. In 1327 the nine-year-old Laurence of Hastings, later earl of Pembroke, was the hereditary steward of the liberty of St Edmund in

Suffolk, and the acting steward was Ralph of Bocking, who accounted at the exchequer for sums collected on behalf of the crown,® and answered before the justices of the bench, sitting at Beccles, for failure to make due

return of the royal writs.* The register of John of Gaunt contains many examples of appointment to administrative offices in his great franchises. William of Nesfield, for instance, was appointed steward of the honour of Knaresborough for life, with power to hold courts and do what belonged to the office, receiving ten marks a year for the said office;> Thomas of St Alban was appointed keeper of the duke’s fees and franchises in the counties of Surrey, Sussex, Essex and Kent with the duty of holding leets and courts, accounting to the duke for issues and profits arising, and taking

the customary fees and wages.® The bailiff of Halikeld wapentake was appointed for so long as he should bear himself loyally in the office.” The bailiff of West Derbyshire wapentake was appointed for three years, paying for the office its fair market price.* The steward of the honour of Pontefract was appointed for so long as it should please the duke, taking the accustomed fees.° The different forms and conditions of appointment thus follow pretty closely those of royal appointments to similar offices in the geldable, and though they belong to a period forty years later than that we are examining, there is no serious risk of error in accepting them as valid for the opening years of Edward’s reign. * Receipt Rolls, 1328-36.

“MS. Harl., 638, fol. 177. Cf. M.D. Lobel, The Borough of Bury St Edmunds (Oxford, 1935), p. 104, where he is mentioned as empanelling a jury in 1344. ° John of Gaunt’s Register, ed. S. Armitage-Smith (Camden Soc., London, 1911), No. 371. For other references to stewards of liberties, see Denholm Young, op. cit., pp. 68-85, A. E. Levett, Studies in Manorial History (Oxford 1938) pp. 103-107; and R. A. L. Smith, Canterbury Cathedral Priory, (Cambridge 1943) pp. 85 ff. ‘John of Gaunt’s Register, No. 368. 7 Ibid., No. 381. § Ibid., No. 667. ° Ibid., No. 658.

146 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 One interesting aspect of the personnel of the staffs of the franchise is revealed by the receipt and memoranda rolls. It is possible to compile from these records a list of the officials of liberties which accounted at the exchequer, and from this list it appears that the same man might act at once for several lords. Thus in 1330 Richard of Nottingham is the attorney of the bishop of Norwich in Norfolk and also accounts at the exchequer for the prioress of Amesbury’s liberty of Melksham (Wilts); for the bishop of Bath and Wells’s liberty in Somerset, which includes four hundreds; for the bishop of Ely’s liberty in Norfolk (Mitford hundred), and for the abbot of Reading’s liberty of Leominster in Herefordshire.*° Robert de Lufwyk in 1330-1336 is bailiff of the liberties of the abbot of Peterborough in Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire, and of the bishop of Salisbury in Wiltshire, Dorset

and Surrey."* Elias de Waddeworth in 1329 is acting for the bishop of Salisbury in Dorset and for the bishop of Winchester in Hampshire and Somerset.” In 1333 he 1s deputizing for the steward of the archbishop of Canterbury’s liberty in Kent.** The liberty official was becoming a professional, the forerunner of the estate agent and bailiff of today, though with responsibilities of a kind no longer known. The second point, the relation of the officials of the franchises to the

royal system of government, is of greater importance. Like the sheriffs and coroners of the geldable they had their direct contacts with the central government; and they also had their indirect connection, by way of

the sheriff’s administration in the shire. | The first department concerned was the exchequer—the Local Government Board of mediaeval England. Where a liberty included the summons and estreats of the exchequer, its bailiff or steward appeared there along-

side the sheriff of the county in which the liberty lay to render account of monies collected on behalf of the crown. When the farm of a private

hundred was payable direct to the exchequer, the bailiff accounted for : that farm. In 1327-1336 the receipt rolls record the payment of farms by the bailiffs of two lords of private hundreds, (in the case of Calne hundred, Wiltshire, the lord of the hundred apparently accounted himself) ;'* and the bailiffs of eighteen liberties, containing ninety-three hundreds in fifteen counties, accounted for moneys collected which represented the performance of work done by them inside the liberties that would have been done 1° Receipt Roll, Nos. 291, 295, 296, 299. 11 Ibid., Nos. 295, 302, etc. 1? Tbid., No. 285. 13 Ibid. No. 314. ** Receipt Roll, Nos. 267, 270.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 147 outside by the sheriff’s staff. The estreats—the note of sums owing, such as fines inflicted by justices—went to the appropriate official, who collected the money and paid it in at the exchequer.

Secondly, when the royal justices, whether of the eyre or of gaol delivery, sat in the shire, a liberty that had its own coroner would make

a direct contact with them when the coroner brought his rolls and reported the inquests and presentments made before him. The coroners of the Ely liberty in Suffolk were appointed ‘to do what law and custom direct, to hold inquests and to signify their findings to the king’s justices.’ A criminal appealed before the steward of a liberty would be passed on to the sheriff to present to the justices of gaol delivery, with the mainour if taken redhanded.’® The jury of presentment for each hundred of the

liberty, or for the liberty itself, was empanelled by the bailiff of the hundred or liberty, as would be the assize juries summoned to the king’s

bench or common bench, though the command to empanel the jury had reached the liberty bailiff through the sheriff. It would seem that all communications from the chancery passed through the sheriff’s hands, and there are ample illustrations of the working together of the sheriffs and the liberty officials in connection with the execution of all kinds of chancery writs. Among the chancery records for 1327-36 are many writs endorsed by sheriffs, including such returns as ‘this writ was passed on to the bailiff of the earl of Lancaster in Wirksworth wapentake, who replies as follows . . .;"*" ‘I returned this writ to the bailiff of the earl of Surrey, of his hundred of Amesbury, and the bailiff, who has return and execution of all writs, has given no answer;’*® ‘I took with me four good and lawful men of my bailiwick and went to the court of John of Weston at Bloxham to see that full justice should be done to

Robert Wise [a full report of the proceedings of the court follows]. And I, the said sheriff, upon this enjoined the suitors of the aforesaid court that they should do full justice to the said Robert, and the suitors

expressly refused to proceed to judgment or to do justice." A roll at the Bodleian library contains copies of thirty-nine writs passed on to the stewards of St Edmund’s liberty by the sheriffs of Suffolk between the years 1314 and 1342 and the returns to them; for instance ‘I made return of this writ to Ralph of Bocking and the said steward replies that Richard *° Leiger Book of Dean and Chapter of Ely, fol. 40 d. (at Ely). *° Year Books, 2 Henry IV (London, 1678-80), fol. xxxvii d. *7 Chancery Files, series C. Misc. Writs Returned, No. 71. 18 Tbid., No. 15. 1 Tbid., No. 37.

148 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of Reynes and Margaret his wife are dead.’”° This roll was probably a collection of precedents; a working roll of our period belonging to the sheriff of Bedfordshire 1333-4 is preserved at the William Salt Library and includes similar notes. ‘I returned this writ to the bailiff of the liberty of Dunstable and the said bailiff has given no answer.’*?

The arrangements by which such delivery and return were made is described in detail in several instances. In Somerset in the thirteenth century the bailiffs of lesser liberties were expected to attend the shire court, and receive the writs there,” whilst the sheriffs’ messengers delivered the king’s writs to the abbot of Glastonbury’s bailiffs at the gate of Glastonbury.** In Worcestershire the abbot of Evesham’s bailiffs were

expected to attend the county courts to receive writs, but urgent mandates were sent by the sheriff to the abbey gate between the county court meetings.** In 1375 John of Gaunt orders his steward in Yorkshire to charge his bailiffs in six of the Yorkshire hundreds to go every week to

! York castle to fetch the writs, and to see that every return be made by indenture between the sheriff and the bailiff, the bailiff’s parts of the indentures to be handed over twice a year to the steward.”® The sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1378 definitely instructs the bailiffs to make their return

to him at Oxford castle, bringing the mandate with them,”® and in one instance at least, names a date for the return.”’ The co-operation of royal and franchisal officials in the county was thus a well established tradition at the beginning of Edward III’s reign, as is illustrated by petitions in two of his parliaments. In 1327 la comune petitioned for a remedy, such as they had against sheriffs, against bail-

iffs of franchises who made false returns to writs,?® and a statute providing a way of redress to the injured party was proved, saving the privileges of lords of franchises.?° In 1328 the bishop of Norwich complained that the sheriffs of Norfolk no longer delivered the king’s writs to his bailiffs of Hoxne hundred, but executed them themselves, contrary 7° Bodleian Library: Suffolk Roll, No. 4. For writs enrolled by the lord of a liberty see Register of Godfrey Giffard, Bp. of Worcester, ed. J. W. Willis-Bund (Oxford, 1898-1902), pp. 210, 305.

"2 Rolls from the Office of the Sheriff of Beds. and Bucks., ed. G. H. Fowler (Bedfordshire Hist. Soc. Apsley Guise, 1929) p. 37 (no. 73). *? Henry de Bracton, Note Book, ed. F. W. Maitland (London, 1887), case 1436. *° Bodl. MS., Wood Empt., 1, fol. 1095.

**W. A. Morris, Early English County Court, pp. 172-3. *° Jobn of Gaunt’s Register, II, No. 1527. °° Stonor Letters and Papers, ed. C. L. Kingsford (Camden Soc., London, 1919), I, 15.

77 Chane. Misc., 37/1/23. °° Rot. Parl., Il, 10 (No. 32). °° Ibid., 12; Stats. of Realm, I, 253.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 149 to the bishop’s immemorial liberties, and he was granted a writ to suit his case.°°

The great variation in the size of the franchises and in the nature of their privileges makes it impossible to draw an exact parallel between franchisal and royal administration. The stewards of the great ecclesiastical liberties, like Bury St Edmunds, Glastonbury or Crowland, or of the great lay honors, like Clare, Pontefract, or Tickhill, had districts and responsibilities comparable with those of some sheriffs. The lord of the half-hundred of Clavering in Essex, whilst his officials were in effect part of the sheriff’s staff for many purposes, yet sent his bailiff to the ex-

chequer to account, independently of the sheriff, for the moneys received on behalf of the royal administration. Appointed by their lords, receiving their remuneration from the perquisites of the office, or even, in a few instances, from a holding of land; holding office hereditarily, for life, for a term of years, during good conduct or during the pleasure of their lords, they were yet the king’s ministers and bailiffs and formed part of the national system of administration.

II. The Coroners (1) Appointment and Removal

The position of the coroner was unique in the national system, in that his office was elective and, in theory at least, held for life. A writ issued from chancery, directing the sheriff to hold an election to fill the vacancy created by the death or displacement of one of the county coroners. From the 275 orders for election on the close rolls for 1327-36 it appears that the commonest cause of a vacancy was ‘insufficiency:’

Eighty-eight of the outgoing coroners are described as insufficiently qualified; forty-three as not having sufficient lands in the county. Fiftyseven were dead; thirty-two were incapacitated by infirm old age and twenty-two by sickness; two were blind, one paralysed. Non-residence is alleged in fourteen cases, absence on the king’s business once, and on pilgrimage once; employment on the business of magnates thrice and municipal or local office four times. Four coroners had been appealed or

indicted of felony, but only one is removed for a reason that the plea rolls would lead one to expect more often: ‘he will not act without a bribe.” The Register of Writs, which gives nine formulae for the cause of vacancy, includes the reason ‘he is not a knight’, citing the statute of Westminster,** of the year 1275. Gross says that knighthood was no longer °° Rot. Parl., Il, 28 (No. 49). ** Stats. of Realm, I, 29, c. 10.

150 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 : a necessary qualification in the fourteenth century,*? but, though no instance occurs in our ten years, there are examples as late as 1392 of a coroner-elect successfully claiming exemption on the ground that he is not a knight.*? The fact that it is left to the coroner himself to make the complaint may give the clue to a problem which arises in an acute form from a study of the close rolls; the fact, that is, that coroners who are alleged to be legally disqualified have been holding office for many years.

To take a few, from a very large number of instances; Roger de Widewere, one of the Berkshire coroners, was declared insufficiently qualified on 20 January 1332, allowed to stay in office on 7 December 1333, and again declared insufficiently qualified ‘by trustworthy testimony’ on 14 November 1335. William Gernoun, in Essex, declared insufficient four times in September 1334, was still in office on 10 March 1337. Osbert Hamelyn, a Cornish coroner, was declared too old to serve in January | 1328, but only vacated his office with death in 1332. Richard de Kynebell

was declared insufficiently qualified on 7 March 1328, and a suspected felon on 8 May 1328, and in spite of further orders to retire in 1331, 1332, and 1333, he was apparently still coroner on 26 October 1334. Thomas de Pans of Somerset was alleged to be insufficiently qualified in 1329, and reported too ill to act from May 1332 to June 1336. Adam de Reresby of York was described in September 1328 as an appealed felon, as lacking the territorial] qualification in 1332 and 1334, and in December 1337 simply as ‘unfit;’ and yet he had, it seems, been acting as coroner for all those nine years. Philip Pympe, described alternately as insufficiently qualified and as aged and infirm, kept his place as coroner of Kent from 7 February 1329, when the first order to replace him is enrolled, to 8 December 1338.34 On 16 December 1327 the sheriff of Warwickshire was

ordered to hold elections to replace all the four coroners of the county as being insufficiently qualified.** On 26 June 1332 three of the four were still acting *° and one of them, William of Sutton, though described as weak and ill,?* was coroner till his death in 1339.38

In the absence of more precise information, we can only guess what was actually happening. But there are instances, like the last mentioned, when there is documentary evidence that the coroner was exercising his *? Select Cases from the Coroners’ Rolls, ed. C. Gross (London, 1896), p. xx. 8°C.C.R. 1392-1396, 10, 315.

*4See indexes of C.C.R. 1327-1336. It should be noted that in nine counties there 1s no repetition of an order to replace a particular coroner, whilst some counties are exceedingly reluctant to obey such an order—notably Essex, Lincoln and Norfolk. 8° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 190.

°° C.RR., No. 153, m. 1. °7C.C.R. 1333-1337, 613, 631. °° C.C.R. 1339-1341, 151.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 151 functions after the chancery had declared him unfit to act—making a return to the justices, or holding inquests, like John of Tew, declared unfitin May 1335%° and by the evidence of his own roll inquiring into deaths

in June 1336.*° Richard of Sutton was acting as coroner in Nottinghamshire from 1335 to 1341 when he was amoved in the county court held on 2 April and John Power elected in his place,** but chancery had ordered his removal in October 1337.4? Scrutiny of the writ de coronatore eligendo directed to the sheriff reveals what the close roll fails to indicate,

that the county court had the last word as to fitness. One actual writ, with its endorsement, is extant for the year 1331, and runs ‘because John

the son of Thomas of Carlisle, one of our coroners [in Cumberland] is insufficient and unfit for what pertains to his office as we understand— (ut accepimus) we command you, if this be so (si ita est) to cause another coroner to be elected in full county in his place.’** If the county did not accept the ruling of the chancery as to unfitness, it seems that the coroner

continued in office. This clearly holds good with regard to the general order about coroners issued at the accession of Edward III. In 1307 it had been assumed that the office had been vacated on the demise of the crown, and new elections had been ordered in every county.** In May 1327 the sheriffs were commanded to remove any unqualified persons and have new coroners elected in their place, and to administer the oath afresh to such as were duly qualified, the decision as to fitness being thus left to the county.*® The return of the sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to this writ is extant: two new coroners have been elected for Nottingham, one of them the John Rosel whose rolls are so valuable a source for this period, whilst the existing coroners for Derbyshire have been sworn afresh.?® One of the Wiltshire coroners removed by the county as unfit in 1327 had not been replaced by 7 May 1328; on that date the sheriff was ordered either to reswear or to replace him.*7 Thus the county is invited to reconsider its decision without any order to ascertain the facts by any objective standard. A coroner’s tenure of office, then, depended rather on the good will of the county and the consent of the coroner himself than on exact conformity with statutory regulations. There does not, in fact, appear to 9° C.C.R. 1333-1337, 397.

*° Coroners Roll No. 111, m. 7.

*2 Assize Roll, No. 690, m. 12. 42C.C.R. 1337-1339, 187.

*S Chancery Files, Ser. C., Misc. writs Ret. c27 No. 232, cf. C.C.R. 1330-1336, 186. “SC.C.R. 1307-1313, 13.

CCR. 1327-1330, 126.

*° Chancery Files. Ser. C, Misc. Writs Ret., No. 38. 47 C.C.R. 1337-1330, 293.

152 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336. be any exact definition of sufficiency or fitness. Knighthood was prescribed by the statute of Westminster in 1275;*® the tenure of land in fee, in the shire, by the Statute of 1340;*® only in what seems a late writ is an amount stated—a hundred shillings’s worth of land.®° There are signs

that neighbors in the shire applied to chancery to get rid of a coroner,”? but this argues unpopularity rather than unfitness. If men wished to escape service they could plead sickness, or lack of knighthood, or produce a charter of exemption, and they could, if elected against their will, refuse to act. To the Cumberland writ of 1331 cited above the sheriff’s return runs, ‘it was testified in full county court that the said John is insufficient

. .. and Robert de Rybury was elected in his place by the community of the county, but Robert did not care to take the oath of office.*? No coroner could act until he was sworn in the county court, so either the office remained vacant or John continued to act. On the other hand men who were not qualified obtained the election by influence or bribery if the commons’ petition of 1354 is based on fact: ‘persons come and procure the office for their own profit, making large gifts to obtain it.’**

In one instance, noted by Coke, °* the county had to suffer for its failure to replace an unfit person. In 1336 the sheriff of Kent was ordered to hold an election to replace William Herlsone,®® who had no lands in the county to qualify him for the coroner’s office.*® The memoranda roll of 1340 reveals that in 1338 William Herlizoun made a false return, for which he was amerced at 40 s., but the sheriff could not levy the money as William possessed neither lands nor chattels in the county. Consequently the sheriff is ordered to levy the sum from the men of the county— ‘because the same coroner was elected by the county according to the form of the statute, so that in default of the coroner the whole county, as his elector and superior, has to answer to the king.’®” On the whole, then, it seems a fair inference that neither tenure for life nor statutory qualifications were strictly enforced. If you had good *® Stats. of Realm, I, 29, c. 10.

*° Stats. of Realm, I, 283, c. 8. 5° Registrum Omnium Brevium (1595), fol. 177b. °2 F.g., in Yorkshire in 1328, C.C.R. 1327-1330, 246, in 1329 ibid., 477; in Essex in 1332, C.C.R. 1330-1333, 433; in Hereford in 1334, C.C.R. 1333-1337, 225. °? Chancery Files, Ser. C., Misc. Writs Ret., No. 232 d.

53 Rot. Parl. 1, 260, No. 38. °*E. Coke, Institutes of the Laws of England Il, 175. °° Is this the William Herlysoun who had been declared unfit to be coroner in York-

shire 10 July 1334? C.C.R. 1333-1337, 232. 56 Ibid, 577.

°* K.LR.M.P., No. 116, Precepta, Hil., m. ix. Compare the insistence, in 1339, that the coroners and the county of Sussex should accept full responsibility for the sheriff elected in the county court (C.C.R. 1339-1341, 335-6).

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 153 friends in the county court, your qualifications were not too closely scrutinized at the time of election, and once you were elected, a mere information to chancery would not dislodge you. On the other hand if you or your enemies desired your retirement it would not be difficult to find a pretext for your removal, whilst 1f your technical unfitness led to practical liabilities, the electors of the county court would discover that they had to pay in hard cash for their connivance at the breach of statutes. It was a good working compromise, thoroughly characteristic of mediaeval England, between law and public opinion. (7) Relations with the central administrative system

The coroner, then, occupies the unique position of an official constantly in touch with the central administration, even acting in some matters as its agent, and yet neither appointed by nor, in practice, removed by it. He is in marked contrast with the sheriff, who, appointed from headquarters and removable at will, appears at fixed intervals at the exchequer and is kept in check by continuous and permanent bonds

of financial obligation and responsibility. An illustration of the tighter |

hold the national administration had over the sheriff has been noted in 1328. The sheriff and coroners of Rutland, commanded by the king’s bench to send in details of an appeal (or indictment) made before them in the county courts, returned that they had no record in their rolls, but that the appeal had been made before a former sheriff who had the rolls. Whereupon the justices ordered William Howard, the late sheriff, to produce the record.°* According to Bracton and Britton and the Eyre Reports, it was the coroners’ record that must be followed in pursuing an appeal before the justices, and the sheriff’s roll was only testimony, not record, if the two should conflict.°® Nevertheless no attempt was made in 1328 to ascertain who had been the coroners acting with Howard,

and no command was issued for the production of their rolls, although the coroner was, ‘the contre-rouler of the sheriff in all his office.’®° An-

other fact pointing in the same direction is the great difficulty of discovering any returns to the writs of de coronatore eligendo. Though the writ ends with the command ‘et nomen eius nobis scire facias, there appears to have been no official enrolment in the chancery of the names of coroners whose elections were commanded at the rate of thirty-three a

year,°* and only two original returns of a coroner’s election have so °° C.R.R., No. 271. Rex. Hilary Term. m. 4d. I have to thank Mr. Sayles for this


°° Bracton, ed. Woodbine, I], 393-399 (fs. 139b-141b); Britton, c. 9. °° Britton, c. 15. *: 335 orders to elect have been traced on the Close Rolls, 1327-1336.

154 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 far been traced amongst the thousands of sheriffs’ returns to chancery

mandates for the ten years 1327-36. It may have been the chancery which supplied the justices in Kent with the list of coroners cited by Dr Putnam,®* and the justices in eyre with the similar lists of those who were coroners in the county since the last eyre, but the information may equally well, for all we know, have been derived from local sources. — The connection of the coroners with chancery, then, is on the whole

formal; it commands the election of a coroner and is notified of his name.°* There are also occasions on which chancery directs orders to sheriff and coroners together, generally demands for information, for instance as a preliminary to the granting of a royal pardon.® But it is with the exchequer and above all with the justices that the coroners have most effective relations. On those occasions when the coroners are, as we shall see, called upon

to act as temporary substitutes for the sheriff, for instance, when the sheriffs’ own interests are involved, the exchequer will deal with them direct. One such instance occurred in 1332. The coroners of Northumberland had been ordered to distrain the sheriff, William of Tynedale, for failure to render his account at the exchequer, and were amerced at the exchequer for representing the issues of the sheriff’s holdings as amounting only to twenty pence when they really came to ten pounds.®® Similarly, it was the exchequer which commanded the coroners of Nottingham and other counties in 1334 to make proclamation in full county that bailiffs of liberties and others responsible for collecting monies owed to the king, and required that all those who had complaints against such collectors should come to the exchequer at York at Martinmas.** As keepers of the pleas of the crown, the coroners are naturally most closely related with the judicial department of the king’s court. They

figure constantly on the rolls of the justices, whether of the eyre, of gaol delivery, or of king’s bench, and even of the court of common pleas.°* Before the justices in eyre, they have to make record of all the pleas of the crown that have arisen since the last eyre,®° that is, for the last *? Chanc., Files, Ser. C. Misc. Writs Ret., c23, No. 28 (Notts and Derby, 1327) C2 02/c27, No. 232, (Cumberland, 1331). °° B. H. Putnam, Kent Keepers of the Peace, p. 106, 7. ** It is the chancery which in Aug. 1338 and Sept. 1339 commands the coroners and suitors of the county court to elect a sheriff. (C.C.R. 1337-1339, 463; C.C.R. 1339-1341, 193).

°° Chanc. Files, Ser. C. Misc. Writs Returned, No. 141 (1336). oT T.R.M.R., No. 104, m. 52d. 7 L.T.R.M.R., No. 106, m. 122. °§ Information from Miss Neilson.

°°For the connection of the coroner’s office with the development of the general eyre see Columbia Law Review, 1933, pp. 1348 ff.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 155 thirty years if we are speaking of the eyres of 1329. Before the justices of gaol delivery will be tried those who have been indicted by juries before a coroner, appealed by approvers before him, or found suspect of homicide by his inquest, as also any felon who has abjured the realm before him and afterwards returned unpardoned.” The coroners, or their heirs if they are dead, ought to be present with their rolls in court ‘to do what pertains to their office.”* The justices of the two benches may not require the coroners’ presence in every case, but they apply to them (with the sheriffs) for information as to appeals, indictments, confessions of felony’? and outlawries.

(11) Relations with the sheriff Heavy as are the responsibilities of the coroners towards the justices, it is with the sheriff that they have most constant relations. We have seen

that the coroner is elected under the eye of the sheriff. Most of the communications from headquarters reach the coroners through the sheriff,

and very often coroners and sheriff are jointly addressed. An earlier draft of Magna Carta had laid down that the sheriff should not intermeddle with pleas of the crown without the coroners,’* and though this provision was not included in the final version on the statute roll, it was

accepted as legal custom.’* One or more of the coroners sat with the sheriffs at every county court and every tourn. A file of documents from

Northamptonshire, preserved at the Public Record Office among the coroners’ rolls, illustrates well their close cooperation.” No. 14 is part of a coroner’s return to the justices of gaol delivery sitting at Northampton in March 1333 and contains indictments and appeals made before John of Tew. Nos. 18-26 are the sheriff’s records, but constantly refer to the coroners, recording exactions and outlawries made ‘by the coroners and by the judgment of the county,’ and joint returns of sheriff and coroners to writs returnable before the justices of the bench. The county records of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, edited by Dr. Fowler, reflect this close co-operation: it is interesting to note that the demand for a record of indictments is addressed to sheriff azd coroners and that for the record of an appeal is directed to the sheriff or coroners.’® Even in those branches *° Gaol Delivery Roll, No. 125, m. 2. ™ Registrum Brevium, fol. 74d. gives a writ to coroners to bring indictments before justices of gaol delivery; ibid. fol. 77d. gives a writ to sheriff commanding coroner’s presence before justices (?) of king’s bench. 7? Ibid. fol. 77d.; C.R.R., No. 153, m. 1. 73 Stats. of Realm, I, 6. ™* Gross, Coroners’ Rolls, p. xxv.

“© Coroner’s Roll, No. 111. *° Fowler, Sheriff's Rolls, pp. 35-6; Nos. 58, 60.

156 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of his work in which a coroner may act alone, the sheriff sometimes intervenes, as appears in a return made by the sheriff of Lincoln to chancery

in 1331. He reports that he has been to Walsham church and tried to persuade a felon who was occupying it to surrender himself to the king’s

peace, but as the man refused for fear of consequences ‘the township of Walsham was told by myself and the Lindsey coroner, John of Cotes, to keep safe watch over the said Simon until he should either surrender himself to the king’s peace or abjure the realm according to the law of England.’** On the other hand the coroners, as we have seen, were theoretically a standing check upon the sheriff, not only in keeping counter-rolls of the pleas of the crown in shire and hundred court, but also on occasion in setting the machinery of justice in operation for enquiry into the sheriff’s administration or into other matters that touched his personal interests. Sheriff and coroners came from the same social class, that of the knights of the shire who carried the main burden of county administration. Robert Jorce, for instance, coroner of Nottingham, 1327-31, was the son of a coroner,’® served as sheriff 1331-33, and as knight of the shire in the two parliaments of 1340.7° In 1333 two of

the four knights sent to bear the record of the shire of Buckingham were the two county coroners.*° Both socially and administratively, in fact, there was the closest in-

teraction between sheriff and coroners. It may be doubted, however, whether the evidence bears out Gross’ view®! that the coroner was more powerful than the sheriff. If the coroner might go where the sheriff might

not (and a writ of non omittas propter libertatem would quickly alter all that) it was precisely because his functions were so much more limited. He was, first and last, a recorder, but the sheriff was an administrator. Nearly every record kept by the coroner was duplicated by the

sheriff, whilst there were wide tracts of the sheriff’s activities in which the coroner had no art nor part. Concentration on the sheriff’s judicial functions led Gross to underestimate the importance of that financial and executive work upon which recent discoveries have thrown so much light.®* To the ordinary litigious, law-abiding, tax-paying citizen of the T Chanc. files, Ser. C. Misc. Writs Ret., No. 216.

7®In Cambridgeshire son and father hold the office of coroner within ten years; Luke of Over, dead by 1330 and his son John, coroner 1331-38. In Bedfordshire, two Mordaunts and two Peyveres occur on the list of coroners for 1321-1342.

7°In the boroughs, similarly, the same men served as coroner and mayor. V.C.H.

Northamptonshire, Ill, 8. °° Fowler, Sheriffs Rolls, p. 43, No. 134.

** Gross, Coroners’ Rolls, pp. Xxvil, XXX.

*? C. H. Jenkinson and M. Mills, ‘Rolls from a Sheriff's Office of the Fourteenth Cen-

tury, E.H.R. XLII (1928), 21-32.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 157 shire, the sheriff must have counted for far more than the coroner; whilst to the criminal and the unfortunate the coroner would very rarely appear without the sheriff or one of his subordinates close at hand.

The coroners of liberties, such as St Albans, Ely, Holderness or Furness, the coroners of boroughs and the coroners of the king’s household,®* if they were not in such immediate and constant contact with the sheriff as the county coroners, might on occasions act with him, and had precisely the same relations with the justices as the county coroners. In some cases certainly the coroner of a liberty was elected in the court of the liberty, as was the practice at Windsor, Egremont and Furness;** at St Albans, under a charter of 1280, the coroners were nominated by the lord of the liberty.*°

(iv) Duties and activities The first question that arises in connection with the coroner’s work is that of division of labor. How many coroners were there, and how was the work shared between them? Gross’s view that there were four cor-

oners to every county, and that there was no division of the shire into coroners’ districts®® requires some modification for the reign of Edward III. Miss Putnam has shown that in Kent, besides the coroners of the lib-

erties of the city of Canterbury, the city of Rochester and the hundred of Milton, there was a coroner for each of the five lasts of Aylesford, Sutton, Scray, Shipway and St Augustines.*” It is not always possible to discover how many coroners were acting at the same time, but a return to the justices may supply a list. In Northamptonshire, for instance, returns to two writs of August and October 1333 show that there were four coroners acting at both these dates, though in the interval Simon de Greylond has been replaced by John Cardoun.** There were also four coroners for the borough of Northampton.*? In Cambridgeshire there seem to have been three coroners for the geldable and one or more for the Isle

of Ely. In Nottinghamshire there were only two county coroners.”° In °° By the Articuli super cartas of 1300 and the ordinances of 1311, the coroner of the Household was to act with the coroner of the county where the Household was when the felony or misfortune occurred. Stats. of Realms, I, 138, 164. For an instance see Coroner's

Roll, No. 111, m. 17.

®4 C.P.R. 1313-1317, 329; C.C.R. 1337-1339, 321, 478-9.

; an Abbatum Monasterii S. Albani, ed. T. H. Riley (Rolls Series, London, 1867-69), "88 Gross, Op. cit., Pp. XX.

** Putnam, Kent Keepers of the Peace, pp. 106-8. 88 Coroner’s Roll, No. 111, mm. 19, 20. *° Gross, Op. Cit., p. xxii; cf. V.C.H. Northamptonshire, WI, 5. °® Assize Roll, No. 683, m.1; cf. C.C.R. 1343-1346, p. 3.

158 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Bedfordshire there were two county coroners, a coroner for St Albans liberty and two coroners in the borough.®* In Derbyshire there were two for the county and one for the borough of Derby.®? In Staffordshire there were four.®?

Gross’s other contention, that there was no division of the shire into coroner’s districts, is not borne out by the evidence. The directions laid

down by Edward I’s council in December 1285 for inquiry into the conduct of a coroner, refer explicitly to the limits of his bailiwick. All the bailiffs or bedels of the county who have held office ‘within the precincts of the bailiwick belonging to the said coroner, or outside it, if need be,’ are to be summoned to give evidence as to his conduct.°* We have seen that in Kent there was a coroner for each last, and Gross himself recognizes that there were coroners of rapes and of the ridings of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.°® The coroners of hundreds, to which he refers, like Lothingland, Milton and Liston, were coroners of liberties, like those of Holderness, St Leonard’s and St Mary’s.®* But apart from liberties and boroughs, in smaller counties also there is clear evidence of territorial division of labor between the county coroners. In 1343 the men of Nottinghamshire represented to the king that there ought to be

two coroners in the county, one on this side and the other on that of the Trent, and that as at the moment both of the coroners lived beyond the Trent, there were difficulties in flood time when a coroner’s services were required this side of Trent, and felons and malefactors were rendered bolder.®’ Close scrutiny of the rolls of John fitz John, coroner of Cambridgeshire from 1334 to 1338, shows that the inquests he held were all, with one exception, for villages lying east of the Cam.°® The

inquests held by John of Tew, coroner of Northamptonshire, 13321336, were all held in the south-western half of the county—in the hundreds of Sutton, Warden, Norton, Towcester, Cleyley, Fawsley, Guilsborough, Nobottle Grove, Spelhoe and Wimersley.®® Detailed investigation of the records for each county would be necessary to establish

the extent of the practice, which may not have been followed in every 1 Ibid, No. 26, m. 1b. °? Ibid., No. 166, m. 1d. °° Chanc. files, Ser. C. Misc. Writs Ret., No. 17 (1336). °* Stats. of Realm, I, 210. °° Gross, Op. cit., xx, 4. °° [bid., pp. 116, 120, 122. °TC.C.R. 1343-1346, 3.

°§ Coroner’s Roll, No. 17.

°° Coroner’s Roll, No. 111, mm. 12, 17. This is the division of the county used for military organization in the seventeenth century. See The Montagu Musters Book, ed. J. Wake (Northants Rec. Soc., 1935)—Map facing p. Ixii.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 159 county; but both common sense and the formula whereby a coroner is to be elected in the room of a particular person point the same way as the evidence, namely that each coroner had his own beat for the purpose of holding inquests. It would not have been fair either to villagers or to coroners to leave them the option of sending for any one of four men, and when it might take eight days to journey from one end of a county to another,*°° it was obviously desirable to have the coroners distributed about the county.

We are now in a position to examine the functions of the coroners, which are amply illustrated in the records of 1327-1336. The coroner is first and foremost a keeper of records—custos placitorum corone—and the line of

approach to his activities through his rolls is a natural and logical one. Each coroner ought to have his own roll, Justice Scrope declared in 1329,

when he penalized the borough of Northampton because its coroners kept a joint roll.*°* We begin with the roll of zmquisitions—the records kept, presumably by the coroner’s clerk,*°* of the inquest by the four vills and the jury of freemen into sudden deaths in the coroner’s district. The holding of these inquests was then, as it is now, the function most readily associated with

the coroner’s name, and most of the complaints brought against the coroner in the judicial inquiries of 1324 and 1340 are connected with it. Coroners are charged with refusing to come when sent for; with sending a servant to view the body and authorise the burial;’°* with exacting fees ranging from 1 s. to 6s. 8 d. for coming to hold their inquest,*°* which by their oath they were bound to hold without a fee; with inducing men

who should have served on the jury to absent themselves, so that the inquest had to be postponed as a means of further extortion from the countryside.*’® The coroner of St Alban’s liberty was convicted of substituting a jury of his own selection for that impanelled by the bailiff.*°° Over against these charges of neglect of duty can be set the story told by the well kept rolls of such a coroner as John Rosel, who acted this side of Trent, in Nottinghamshire from 1329 to 1338. If the record for 100 CPLR. 1313-1317, 329.

1 V.C.H. Northamptonshire, WI, 10-11. *°? Gross considered that none of the coroners’ rolls extant were originals, but the Inquisitiones on Coroner’s Roll, No. 17. m. 17, seem to have been written down at the

time, and their contents set out in another form for presentation in the county court on Roll No. 17, mm. 1-8, 15-16 under the heading Infortunia. 108 Assize Roll, No. 425, m. 13. *°4 [bid., No. 74, m. 13; No. 26, m. 7. See Gross, Coroners’ Rolls, p. xxi.

198 Assize Roll, No. 337, m. 9d. °° Gesta Abbatum, Il, 235.

160 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the county court of 6 August 1330*°” be taken as an example, the intervals between death and inquest range from one day to three days. According to the presentments on 24 December 1330, the inquests were held in every instance on the day following the death. The files of John Rosel, John of Tew of Northamptonshire and John fitz John of Cambridgeshire do indeed leave an impression of business-like conduct, though it must be admitted that it is precisely the business-like coroner whose rolls would

be likely to be preserved, and that the fair copies for headquarters scrutiny would not contain any notes of fees which were contrary to law. With very few exceptions, only one coroner is present at the holding

of a view. John de Tew’s fellow-coroner, Richard de Oxenden, sits with him to inquire into the slaying of John de Tew junior at his home at Welton in January 1334,7°° and the inquests on prisoners dying in Northampton castle 1322-1323 are held before two, and occasionally three, of the coroners of the borough.*°® No inquests into treasure trove have been

noted. The records generally refer both to the four vills and to the jury of freemen, but in the inquests into deaths in Cambridge castle a jury of the castle ward is sworn in, and no reference is made to the four nearest parishes.*?°

Besides the roll of Iquisitiones the coroner kept a roll of Presentationes.

It would seem that every coroner attended each county court and there presented his own rolls**? and also recorded the presentments of the town-

ships of the inquests held by his fellow coroners since the last county court,’!” as well as the indictments made in the county court itself by juries of hundreds or liberties.11* They also attended the sheriff’s tourn and kept a record of the presentments made there. The gaol delivery rolls and the coroner’s returns to justices refer occasionally to indictments

made ‘before the coroners’ without mentioning the setting.’’* As the coroner’s roll was the legal record of an indictment, to tamper with it was a serious interference with the course of justice. In Bedford in 1330, the under-sheriff’s attempt to hush up a murder by impanelling a corrupt 1°7 Assize Roll, No. 689, m. 1. 2°8 Coroner’s Roll, No. 111, m. 13.

°° Gross, op. cit., pp. 79-81. In the eye of Northampton 1329, the coroners’ rolls are cited to prove that a felon has died in prison. (Assize Roll, No. 632, m. 39, m. 66). 129 Coroner’s Roll, No. 17, m. 28. 1 Gross, op. cit., p. 31 f.; Fowler, Sheriff's Rolls, p. 53 f. 72° Assize Roll, No. 689, m. 690. "'’ Coroner's Roll, 159; Assize Roll, No. 689; C202/c28, no. 187; C202/c32, no. 17. **Coroner’s Roll, No. 111, m. 14; Gaol Delivery Roll, 123, m. 17. For indictments and counter-indictments before the coroner of St Alban’s Liberty in 1328, see Gesta A bbatuii, I, 218.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 161 jury before the justices of gaol delivery was defeated by the production of the coroner’s roll.?}®

‘The coroners also kept a record of appeals brought in the county court before sheriff and coroners.’** The rolls printed by Gross contain a number of such appeals for the period before 1327 and after 1336,'!” but the appeals commonest in the surviving coroners’ rolls for 1327-1336 are not the

appeals of free agents, but those brought by prisoners, who, in modern phraseology, have turned king’s evidence. These are found recorded sometimes on the roll of appeals,*’* sometimes on the roll de probatoribus.*° The probator or approver was an accused person who, according to the formula, acknowledged himself to be a felon before a coroner, or two coroners, or a coroner and sheriff, became an approver, and appealed so and so of having committed felony with him.**** The place of these appeals,

if noted, is almost always the prison; if, as 1s possible, they had to be repeated formally in the county court, the date of this public ceremony

was not noted by the coroners on their rolls. The records rouse the strongest suspicion that this practice led to great cruelty, if not on the coroner’s part, on the gaoler’s. One man, for instance, turns approver on the Friday after Whitsunday 1333 before John of Tew and appeals three men, on Saturday he appeals a fourth, and on Sunday a fifth. Another approver appeals three men on Friday and four more on Saturday.**° There are many such cases. When we learn that there was a place in Nottingham gaol called Je provourspit’®’ we guess the inducements by which these additional charges were procured. A Bedfordshire record confirms our suspicions that the methods described by Matthew Paris in 1256.'**

were still being practised in 1330. The keeper of the gaol of Bedford, it was then stated, ‘by intolerable torments and the withdrawal of food and drink so wrought upon a certain prisoner in his custody that to save his life he turned approver and acknowledged thefts of which he was no ways guilty, and appealed honest men who were then put in prison.’’** The gaol delivery rolls tell another chapter of the story; in county after 25 Assize Roll, 26, m. 8 (Leighton Buzzard). ™°Coroner’s Roll, No. 159.

7 Gross, op. cit., pp. 18-23, 32, 118, 123. 118 Coroner’s Rolls, No. 17, mm. 9-14, 20-27; No. 111 mm. 1-11; C.P.R., No. 153, m. 9. 119 Assize Roll, No. 690, mm. 10-11.

129" See F. C. Hamil ‘The King’s Approvers’, Speculum, XI, 238-58 (1936). 120 Coroner’s Roll, No. 111, m. 16.

72 Assize Roll, No. 691, m. 2d.

y - pate Paris, Chronica Majora, ed. H. R. Luard (Rolls Series, London, 1872-83), "2s Assize Roll, No. 26, m. 37.

162 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 county they record how such and such an approver, who had appealed a string of persons, ‘withdrew from his appeal’ and was hanged.*** In one instance the coroner expressly states that the approver was of sane mind

and not constrained in any way when he made the appeals before him, but all the same, before the justices he withdraws his appeals and is hanged, and the jury acquit all those he had denounced.’** The Year Book expands the record in one Case.

‘They examined the coroner how it was with the appellor when he made his appeal. Coroner. Sir, it was without compulsion and of his free will. Appellor. Sir, I was in such great distress before the coming of the

coroner and thought certainly that I should be put to greater distress after he went that I knew not what to say to the coroner.’*”° This duty of recording confessions evidently bulked largely in men’s minds. In 1315 the people of Berkshire complained that the county gaol at Windsor was in the liberty of Windsor forest, so that it was the liberty coroner, who had neither been elected nor sworn in the county court, who heard the confessions of approvers from all over the county.*”” At Oxford the complaint had been that persons appealed by an approver in the borough gaol were imprisoned there, and not in the county gaol.*’® In this

matter of acknowledgment of felony, again, the coroner’s record was legally binding: a man could not withdraw from a confession made before a coroner.’?° The writ commanding the coroner to forward the coguitiones

and appella of an approver to the justices of king’s bench is on the register.*°°

Criminals who had been indicted or appealed, but could not be produced to justice, and not infrequently civil litigants who failed to appear in court might as a last resort be exacted, that is, formally summoned to appear in the county court on four successive court days.’** On the fifth, if they still failed to appear, they were outlawed ‘by the judgment of the county and the coroners’. A record of exigents and outlawries was kept 124 Gaol Delivery Roll, No. 123, m. 15 d. (Leicester, 1332); m. 18 (Notts, 1329); No. 125, m. 3 (Norfolk, 1330).

7° Gaol Delivery Roll, No. 125, m. 4 (Suffolk, 1330). 128 Year Book 12 Edward III, (Rolls Series), 626. 127 CPR, 1313-1317, 329.

228 'T. Rogers, Oxford City Documents (Oxford, 1891), p. 196.

so3son Book 12 Edward III, Rolls Series, 626, Year Book 31 Edward I, Rolls Series,

NOo. veg. eum Brevium (1595), fol. 77d. cf. Fowler, Sheriff's Rolls, p. 32, No. 3; p. 35, **1 Fowler, Sheriff’s Rolls, pp. 18, 38. An exaction for contempt of court is recorded on Coroner’s Roll, No. 16, m. 1 (Cambridge 1334). See also Sheriff’s Rolls, p. 69, Nos. 13, 14;

p. 72, No. 55; p. 73, No. 163.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 163 by both coroners and sheriffs,’*? and was supplied to the justices when required,'*? but the written record of an outlawry, in strict law, had to be reinforced by the personal record of the suitors of the shire moot, as the whole county was amerced if there was any defect in the outlawry."*4

This most solemn process, it seems, was regarded as the joint work of all the coroners, and they bore common record of the completed outlawry.

A criminal who took sanctuary and was unwilling to surrender himself to justice was generally, though not invariably, allowed to abjure the county. The ceremony of abjuration took place before the coroner (one alone was apparently competent to act) and it was he who put the cross in the fugitive’s hand and assigned him his port. No separate record

of abjurations seems to have been kept, and all the instances noted on extant coroner’s rolls occurred before 1327 or after 1336.37 In 1330 a Norfolk coroner reported to the justices of gaol delivery that a man then on trial before them had earlier taken sanctuary, acknowledged his theft and abjured the realm before him. He was hanged as a returned felon.**® The roll of the eyre of Northampton in 1329 records 363 abjurations in that county between 1290 and 1329.*%"

Of the various duties noted in the law-books and described by Gross some were probably becoming obsolete by 1327. No instance has been noted of a coroner reporting to a justice the hanging of a red-handed thief in a hundred or seignorial court, a transaction at which his presence was legally necessary, so that he might record it.’** A statute of 1336 imposed on the coroners, with the sheriffs, the duty of taking security for all felons who had received the king’s pardon, a large and dubious class.'*° ‘Their general duty of keeping the pleas of the crown, interpreted in boroughs *8° Examples of the sheriffs’ records are in Sheriff's Rolls pp. 55, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, and in Coroncr’s Roll, No. 111, mm. 18-21, which enrols the royal orders to exact and the action taken. For examples of the coroner’s records see Coroners Roll, No. 16, mm. 1-6d. (Cambs.); Assize Roll, No. 690, m. 18 (Notts). The coroners’ rolls for Cambridgeshire of exigents and outlawries are of two types: the one parallel to the sheriff’s, kept by county court days (Roll No. 16, m. 1-6, for 1333-1336); and the other roll, of which both a rough and a fair copy are extant, kept by cases, giving a full statement of reasons for exacting, the dates of exaction, and the end of the cases, whether supersedeas, surrender, or outlawry (Roll No. 15, m. 1-7; Roll No. 17 m. 18). 183 Coroner’s Roll, No. 111, m. 26. 184 Year Book 33 Edward I, Rolls Scrics, 54-8. °° Gross, Op. cit., pp. 66-8, 75, 86, 102-3. *°° Gaol Delivery Roll, No. 125, m. 2.

TR. M. Serjeantson, Sanctuary Seekers in Northamptonshire (Ass. Arch. Soc., Reports and Papers, 1913-1914) pp. 423 ff. (abstracts from Assize Roll, No. 632). *88 Gross, Op. Cit., p. Xxx.

*°° Stats. of Realm, 1, 275. For a return under the statute see Chanc. Files, Ser. C. Misc. Writs Ret., No. 141.

164 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 as attendance at the court of husting to see that the mayor did equal justice to rich and poor alike,’*® might lead to their taking responsibility in civil

pleas; they might be required to supply record and process of inquests held in connection with a plea of land.*** As keepers of the pleas of the crown, the coroners shared with the sheriff and the township responsibility for the goods and chattels of felons, for deodands and so forth, though it would rarely in practice devolve upon them.

Lastly, the coroners are not only, as the very nature of their office implies, a standing check upon the sheriff in all matters where the inter-

ests of the crown are involved; they are his potential substitutes when, for any reason, he is temporarily superseded. ‘he under-sheriff 1s the natural understudy if the sheriff is personally unable to act; but if he is officially disqualified, it is the coroners who will have to take the responsibility. Such duties devolve on them when the sheriff is personally involved

in legal proceedings. Three instances are noted in the yearbooks of 14 Edward III; first the sheriff is himself a party to a case, and the other party demands that the jury be empanelled by a coroner;*** secondly the sheriff is accused of making a false return and a writ issues to the coroner to cause the sheriff to come and answer to the charge;*** and lastly a presentment made in the sheriff’s turn is alleged to be erroneous, and the coroner is ordered to impanel a jury to inquire into the error.’** It should be noted that this presentment concerns one of the lesser matters in the tourn, not a plea of the crown, of which the coroner ought to have a counter-roll. The register contains a writ to the coroners for attaching a sheriff who has been accused of taking the beaupleider fine contrary to the statute of Marlborough,*** and another for putting the sheriff under pledge to answer why he has empanelled unfit men to serve on a jury;*° we have seen how they might have to answer to the exchequer for the goods and chattels of a recalcitrant sheriff. In the state trials of 1290-1293 the coroners were ordered to attach hundred bailiffs in Lancashire and a sheriff’s clerk in Lincolnshire because the sheriff they had served under had failed to at-

tach them.'*7 Wherever, in fact, it was necessary to put in action local machinery on behalf of the crown, independently of the sheriff, the coroners were the proper agents to employ. The only evidence of their hold4° Gross, op. cit., p. xxvii; V.C.H. Northamptonshire, Ul, 5, 7. * Fowler, Sheriff’s Rolls, p. 43, No. 135. 142 Year. Book 14 Edward III, Rolls Series, 36. 48 Thid., p. 238.

4 Ibid. pp. 292-308.

“49 Ibid. fol. 178b. :

145 Registrum Brevium (1595, fol. 179).

147 Assize Roll, No. 54la, mm. 20, 20d.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 165 ing the county court without him is the two commands of 1338 and 1339 to them to have a sheriff elected in full county court,**® and this is admittedly abnormal, but there may well have been unrecorded instances of what was undoubtedly legally possible.***

On the whole, the coroners of the fourteenth century may be given a fairly good character. Gross’s remark that fewer charges are brought against them than against sheriffs**® would apply equally to the judicial inquiries of the reign of Edward II and Edward III; almost any other local government official figures more frequently in these trials than do the coroners.

Il. The Sheriff's Subordinates We come now to the body of lesser officials in the shire who took their orders from the sheriff, directly or indirectly. In 1320 and again in 1340 sweeping enquiries into abuses in local administration were ordered, from which we can compile a long list of the government officials who exercised

authority in the shire. Leaving on one side justices, sheriffs and coroners, the commissioners were to scrutinize the conduct of arrayers of hobelars and archers, collectors and assessors of subsidies, sub-escheators, purveyors of victuals, keepers of the king’s horses, sequestrators, admirals of the fleet, foresters, verderers, under-sheriffs and sheriffs’ clerks, constables and sub-

constables, bailiffs itinerant, hundred bailiffs, sub-bailiffs and bedels. Of all these officials we are here concerned only with constables, bailiffs and bedels, as the others take their orders from officials who are dealt with elsewhere, and the work of under-sheriff and sheriff’s clerk is inseparable from that of the sheriff himself. (2) Constables

The title constable is used to describe three different local government officials. ‘There were constables of castles, constables of hundreds, and constables of townships or vills. Of the constable of a castle it is not easy to define the powers or functions. The office might be held with another;

the sheriff of Northamptonshire is described in 1322 as constable of Northampton castle,*** the sheriff of Essex was often constable of Colchester castle, and at one time the constable of Windsor was also bailiff 148 C.C.R. 1337-1339, 463; C.C.R. 1339-1341, 193, 335-6. For a record of an election held

under this writ, see M. M. Taylor, Sessions of the Peace in Cambridgeshire, (Cambridge

1942), pp. 59-61. : *4° Gross, Op. Cit., Pp. XXV1. 160 Ibid. xxvii.

*®. Gross, op. cit, p. 79.

166 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of the seven hundreds of Cookham and Bray.'*? The castellan, as Lambard called him,?°? had certain administrative functions over the district attached to the castle, but almost all his activities seem to have been connected with recruiting, feeding and securing his garrison. Magna Carta had forbidden him to take corn or other chattels without paying for them, and the statute

of Westminster I, had limited his rights of prise to his own district.1®4 In the inquiries of 1320-1322 it was the taking of wheat, oats, barley, pease, hay, tallow, linen, beer, wine, sheep, oxen, bacon, fowls, herrings and the

like that was alleged against the constables of Pickering, Sandal, York, Wilton and Ludlow.**® The castellan exacted castle guard, according to Magna Carta, and might be charged with the organisation of military defence of his district in an emergency.’®® The fact that the castle he controlled might have to serve as gaol involved him in duties of arrest and detention in co-operation with the sheriff. William Grammory, the constable of York, described elsewhere as a knight of the household of Symon de Ward, sheriff of Yorkshire, is accused of undue violence against a prisoner whom he was arresting,*®’ and a retainer of the constable of Nor-

wich castle, charged with wrongful imprisonment, says that he did it by his master’s orders, under a warrant from the sheriff.15* In the thirteenth century there is a case of the keeper of the gaol beheading a man by the order of the constable of Bristol castle.15® His executive powers may even have been utilised on the sheriff’s behalf for the collection of exchequer debts; his subordinates certainly took money in lieu of goods for victualling the castle.’®° In some castles there is a sub-constable also, exercising similar functions, but alleging his master’s authority for his actions.?%

These castellans are appointed by the crown, and take their orders direct from it; but, as we have seen, have to work in close co-operation with the sheriff, as well as with the specifically military officials, and will at a pinch execute a warrant of the sheriff’s. We have considerably more evidence as to the functions of constables of hundreds and townships. In the office of constable of the peace, the com-

munal and royal authorities meet as they do in that of coroner. The constable is at once the keeper of the king’s peace, and the embodiment of 2 CEFR. IV, 11, 26.

*83'W. Lambard, Duties of constables (1587), p. 4.

+64 Stats. of Realm, I, 28, c. 7. °° Assize Rolls, No. 1117, mm. 5, 6, 9, 10; No. 316 m. 2. 6° CPLR. (1265) p. 425. *87 Assize Roll, No. 1117, m. 8d. 758 Assize Roll, No. 598, m. 1. ‘°° Godfrey Giffard’s Register, ed. J. W. Willis Bund, pp. 110-2 (1279). *°° Assize Roll, No. 1117, m. 10. 181 Ibid.. m. 5.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 167 the responsibilities of the community of the vill or of the hundred. Lambard’s view’® that the title constable represents the authority given from above, as that of borsholder represents the responsibility coming from below, seems sound, as well as his contention that the military duties of the constable, like his title, are of post-conquest origin. This does not conflict with Simpson’s theory’®* that the communal responsibilities discharged

by the constable are of ancient origin, though it is possible he attaches too much significance to the fact that the office 1s elective. In the sphere both of military organisation and of police jurisdiction the first half of the fourteenth century is a period of experimentation and transition. In the thirteenth century the term custos pacis was undoubtedly used to apply to the constable of the vill;*®* under Edward II and Edward

III the office of keeper of the peace is evolving into that of justice of the peace. The various attempts to create an expeditionary force out of the posse comitatus under Edward IP® probably diminished the importance of the constable of the hundred, who is first mentioned, and was probably first created, for the organisation of national defence against an anticipated French invasion in 1205,*®° and who had been of considerable military importance at the time of the Barons Wars.*® Custodes pacis, electores peditum and arraiatores are all in turn appointed for levying forces, and the constables of the hundreds appear only sporadically. A document preserved at the Bodleian Library*®* records a meeting of all the high constables of hundreds and constables of vills, with two men from every practicable seaport of Norfolk, summoned before two specially appointed supervisors’® to take counsel for the defence of the coasts, at Norwich in August 1325. In this assembly it was ‘ordained and by common consent agreed’ that watches should be organised along the sea coast, the

inland hundreds sharing the expenses with the coastal hundreds, and the able-bodied watchmen drawing a salary of 3 d. a day or night. Beyond their military duties, few functions can be assigned with certainty to the constables of the hundred at this date. They were the permanent captains, as it were, of the posse hundredi. Under the statute of Winchester, the enforcement of which is repeatedly enjoined, they were responsible for seeing that the statutory requirements as to arms were 16? Lambard, Duties of Constables, pp. 5-7. °° H. B. Simpson, “The Office of Constable’, E.H.R., X (1895), 625-641. 104 Assize Roll, No. 541 A; Gaol Delivery Roll, No. 95, m. 6. 165 See Parliamentary Writs, Il, 11, 465, 478, 542, 545, etc. *°° Gervase of Canterbury Ed. W. Stubbs (Rolls Series, London, 1879-80), H, 96-7.

J. Hunter, Rotuli Selecti (Record Com., London, 1834), pp. 196, 163, 154, 157. *°8 Bodl. MS. Norfolk Charters, No. 335. 10° Cf, C.P.R. 1324-1327, 162, 220.

168 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 fulfilled, and also for presenting before justices assigned failures to keep the watch, clear the highways, observe the hosting regulations, and follow the hue and cry. It is possibly from this duty of presenting offences before the justices that the most debatable function of the constable in this period developed— the function, that is, of receiving indictments.’”° The statute of Winchester does not, apparently, authorize the constables to inquire as to felonies or even trespasses; but a series of commissions entrusted this duty to the keepers of the peace, and on occasion under-keepers of the peace for hundreds were appointed, as well as for the larger areas.*™* It hardly seems possible to equate these with constables of hundreds,’”” but their functions were very similar, and the constable, himself a guardian of the king’s peace, may well have attracted, as it were, some of the functions of the inquisitorial officials to himself. ‘The custodes pacis of the hundred of Bloxham, Oxfordshire, before whom Agnes Canon was indicted in 1291*73 may have been constables or may not; but later statements are unequivocal. In 1295

a man indicted of theft before two constables was tried and acquitted before the Berkshire justices of gaol delivery.*"* In 1306 assault and battery

were presented by a jury before a constable of the peace per statutum Wynton and the bailiff of Oxford.*” In 1323 R. de Boyvill was indicted of felony before the bailiffs and constables of the peace of New Windsor.?7® In 1328 occurs an indictment before the bailiff and constables of the peace of the liberty of Cirencester.*"” In 1329 there is an indictment before the constables of the peace of the hundred of Godalming;*"*® in 1330 be-

fore the constables of the hundred of Brothercross, Norfolk, and of the town of Chirford.1"? Of the instances cited the indictments at Windsor and Brothercross are quashed as insufficient by the justices,’®° but the others are accepted as sufficient, along with a number of indictments before bailiffs and stewards of liberties. A statute of 1327 had alluded to *°The problem was first pointed out by Dr. B. H. Putnam. See her observations and references in Proceedings before the Justices of the Peace, Edward Ill to Richard Ill, Ames Foundation (London, 1938) pp. xxxvii f. 11 Parl, Writs, Ul, ii, Appendix, 238 (1323), 170 (1321). 172 There were two constables to the hundred and three, four or five sub-custodes pacis. 178 Assize Roll, No. 54la, m. 77.

**4 Gaol Delivery Roll, No. 95, m. 2. 75 'T. Rogers, Oxford City Documents, p. 177.

9 C.R.R., 27/271, m. 3d. Hilary term. 177 Gaol Delivery Roll, No. 122, m. 3. 178 Ibid., No. 123, m. 5. 179 Ibid, No. 125, mm. 1, 3d.

*°°Dr Putnam quotes the Report of the Eyre of Northampton of 1330 as recording the justices’ refusal to act on constables’ indictments. Proceedings before Justices of the Peace, p. xxxvui, n. 8.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 169 ‘sheriffs and bailiffs of liberties and all others that do take indictments in their turns or elsewhere,*** and it 1s possible that the justices were still wavering between a policy of ‘the more presentments the better,’’®? and the ruling out of all indictments save those made before persons authorised by established custom or express commission. After the fourteenth century there is no question of such proceedings; but the rolls of the justices make it clear that in the years 1327-1336, as at an earlier date, indictments were made before constables, and recorded by them.’** The duty of presenting breaches of the Statute of Winchester, which must have involved the holding of inquests, was still incumbent on the high constable of the hundred when Lambard wrote in 1582.184 The duties of the constable of the hundred are then mainly inquisitorial and supervisory, both on the military and the police side. He was doubtless competent to arrest, but in practice the localisation of responsibility in the tithing and township meant that the duty devolved upon the constables of the township, the petty constables of later days, and it is their work that must now be described.

Each township had one, two, or three constables, according to its size,’®° and these were yearly elected by the township, so far as we know, in the leet or at the view of frankpledge.*®* It 1s possible that in a military emergency the constable of the hundred might remove and appoint constables of vills as the justice of the peace could do in Tudor times,*** but normally the village constables are as closely linked with the community

as the village reeve. Commanding, as they do, the village forces, their military and police duties merge. When the hue and cry 1s levied, it is for them to follow it up and make an arrest if necessary. It is in this connection that they figure on the rolls of coroners or of justices of gaol delivery.*®” An affray has broken out or a burglary is in process in such and such a vill, A and B, the constables, take the slayer or wounder or house-breaker, and sometimes he later escapes from their custody and the township is in 181 Stats. of Realm, I, 257.

*8° Gaol Delivery Roll, No. 123 records trials of persons indicted before sheriffs, coroners, stewards, bailiffs of liberties including boroughs, conservators and keepers of the peace, hundred bailiffs and constables. *8° C.R.R., 27/271 m. iid., Rex, Hilary Term, gives the full record of the inquest held

at New Windsor. I have to thank Mr. Sayles for this reference. *®* Lambard, op. cit., p. 30.

“8° A list of the constables of Lynn in 1326 shows that there might be as many as nine in a borough. Bodl. Ms. Norfolk Charters No. 243. **°" It was when the townsmen of St Albans refused to act in the view of frankpledge in 1328 that the abbot appointed the four constables for the town. Gesta Abbatum, Il, 205. “8°M. Dalton, County Justice (1618), pp. 37, 322, 323. 7 E.g. Gaol Delivery Roll, No. 125, m. 13, Cambridge, 131, (arrest of two sheepstealers red handed); Gross, op. cit., pp. 67, 79, 102.

170 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 mercy.7®§ If the peace-breaker did not escape, the constables presumably had to arrange for his safe custody until such times as they had delivered him to the sheriff or bailiff of a franchise.**® In this responsibility for pro-

ducing to justice the man who is ‘wanted,’ the descent of the constable from the chief pledge or tithing man is clearly traceable; and he could often

count on the assistance of the tithing men or borsholders who were not constables, in the discharge of this duty.*°° Lambard classifies the duties of constables as preventive, sedative and punitive.*®* Under the heading of

prevention comes their obligation under the statute of Northampton, to arrest those who bear arms in fairs and markets,!®* as well as their older duties under the Statute of Winchester with regard to suspicious characters—‘those commonly called roberdesmen or drawlatches.’ The duty, which in 1285 had been laid on the township as a whole, was, by the statute of 1331, fastened on the constables,*°* and it was almost certainly bound up with the responsibility for organising the watches commanded since 1242, during which, as Dogberry reminds us, the suspicious characters might be observed on the prowl. Lastly, in their punitive capacity, the constables might have to act under orders from sheriff or coroner in arresting persons appealed or indicted before them,*** or in guarding persons arrested by a bailiff.*°° Besides the arrest and custody of persons, the constable might have to

take and guard property. The township had to answer for the goods and chattels of fugitive felons, as well as for those of men in custody, and in practice the constables were responsible for seizing them and keeping them safely."®° It was probably in connection with this duty that the constables of townships complained of in the enquiries of 1322 and 1342 took beasts colore offici sui.'°" The constables might also have to take charge of the arms necessary for the keeping of the assize of arms. In the Lincoln parliament of 1316 it was agreed that every village should furnish and equip one foot soldier, 188 The fact that the constables and townships were amerced for the escape did not diminish the heinousness of the crime of escaping; it was gaol-breaking and punishable with death. H. M. Cam, Hundred and Hundred Rolls (London, 1930), p. 193 f. 189 Stats. of Realm, I, 264, c. 10. 190 At St Albans, each constable had two tithing men to assist him. Gesta Abbatua, Il, 205.

*°2 Lambard, op. cit. p. 11. 192 Stats. of Real, I, 258, c. 3. 198 Stats. of Reali, I, 268, c. 14. 194 Stats. of Realm, I, 264, c. 10. *°5 Gross, op. cit., p. 104; Assize Roll, No. 632, mm. 8, 27 d. °° Tambard, op. cit., pp. 17-18 (citing eyre of Northampton, 1329); Gross, op. Ccit.,

. 41, 102-3.

; PP 1 ‘aesize Rolls, No. 31, m. 2 (Bedford, 1342); No. 1117, m. 8d. (York, 1323).

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 171 and special electores peditum were appointed to select the men, and see that the requisite arms and the money for salary and expenses were forthcoming.*°® Later in the year these orders were revoked; the money already collected was to be sent up to headquarters with an inventory of the armor already purchased, which was to be kept in safe custody.’*® In 1317 an investigation was held into the amount and the whereabouts of the arms and the money, returns to which for Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire are extant.”°° In a large number of Cambridgeshire villages it was reported that the armor purchased was in the hands of the constable or constables

of the township, who in a few instances also had the balance of the money.*°* In the Lincolnshire returns there are one or two references to constables, but for the most part the arms are said to be ‘in the hands of the men of the vill,’ as is also the case in several of the Cambridgeshire villages. Ihe returns in fact afford an admirable illustration of the identical responsibility of constable and vill on which Simpson insists.?°?

Except before the justices of eyre or of gaol delivery the constables of the peace, whether of hundred or of township, would have no direct contact with the central government. They might in their different capacities have to obey and act with specially appointed military officials like arrayers and electores peditum, with the keepers of the peace, with the coroners, with the bailiffs of hundreds and liberties, and with the sheriff when he called out the forces of the shire to back up his authority. But for the bulk of their duties the responsibility was their own; their duties rested on common law and arose from the circumstances, and they required no mandate from the sheriff to authorize their action. (1) Bailiffs itinerant The bailiff errant or itinerant was an official still known in the seventeenth century, but it is not easy to give a clear account of the office. His sphere of activity was certainly wider than the hundred; ‘he was the riding bailiff whom the sheriff could send anywhere as needed’ as Dr. Fowler says.”"* In Somerset we hear in 1342 of a bailiff who has the chief bailiwick

west of the Parret, and has the return of all original and judicial writs in 1°8 Parl, Writs, II, ii, 464. 10° Thid., 473, 475.

°°°E 101/15, Bundle 10.

°°. Documents relating to Cambridgeshire Villages, ed. W. M. Palmer and H. W. , Saunders (Cambridge, 1926), No. 1, prints a paraphrase of the Cambridgeshire returns, which gives the names of the constables and descriptions of the arms. “°* H. B. Simpson, “The office of Constable, E.H.R., X (1895), 633, 641 n. *°*" Fowler, Sheriff’s Rolls, p. 4.

172 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 that bailiwick;”°* he is not called a bailiff itinerant, but the description tallies with those given later of the bailiff itinerant. In 1362 the bailiff errant in the New Forest and the Isle of Wight is described as making all executions of the king’s orders there by the sheriff of the county,”** and in 1400 the sheriff of Hampshire makes the return to the justices, ‘I have informed my bailiff itinerant who has the return and execution of all writs, and he has given me no answer.’?°* The bailiffs east and west of Parret were then probably bailiffs errant: in the Tudor period there was a ‘bayle arraunte’ in the wapentake of Leyland, Lancashire. But as a rule the bailiff itinerant is described simply as of the county. His work would seem to be primarily the execution of royal writs, under the mandate from the sheriff, one example of which is printed in the Stonor papers. ‘E. S., sheriff of Oxfordshire, to his beloved John Pentre, bailiff of the hundred of Dorchester,’ and, for this turn, bailiff itinerant in the aforesaid county. On the part of the lord king I command you not to omit on account of

any liberty . . . to arrest J. B., a resident of the parish of Dorchester, wherever he may be found in the said county’ to answer before the justices of the peace for trespasses against the statute.?°* At the sheriff’s orders

and by his authority the itinerant bailiff distrains by taking beasts,?°? attaches persons indicted of felony?*® or in the act of breaking the peace,””* or fugitive villeins,?*? collects outstanding debts due to a former hundred bailiff,”’* and summons persons to appear in court.?** A petition

of 1341 represents the bailiff itinerant of Staffordshire as coming with force to the rescue of some Lichfield merchants who had been robbed and imprisoned, commanding the robbers to give up the stolen goods and taking the stolen property into his own keeping al oeps nostre segneur le roy; all this, apparently, without any warrant from the sheriff,”’° but at the request of one of the merchants’ servants. In an emergency, this conduct may well have been correct; but there 204 Assize Roll, No. 770, m. 9. 205 CFR. VII, 216.

°° Year Books, 2 Henry IV, Mich., fol. x. *°7 A private hundred of the bishop of Lincoln’s. 208 Stonor Papers, I, 6 (1377). 20° Assize Rolls, No. 296, m. 4 (Gloucester, 1324); No. 254, m. 4. (Essex, 1315); Year

Book 13 Richard Il, Mich. pp. 98-100. 2° C.P.R. 1327-1330, 150 (Northampton, 1327); Assize Roll, No. 632, m. 25d. (Northants,

TY Assine Roll, No. 769, m. 1 (Somerset, 1338). 12 Calendar of MSS of Dean and Chapter of Wells (Historical MSS Commission, 1907),

P 2° Stonor Papers, I, 12 (Berks, 1378). ™4Fowler, Sheriff's Rolls, p. 52, n. 201, (Berks, 1377-8). *15 Arch, Journal, IV, 70-1.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 173 are other indications that the bailiff itinerant was, in some respects and in some counties, rather more independent than the sheriff liked. The post might be held by a man whom he had not appointed and could not remove. The crown granted the office by letters patent to individuals for life,?*® during good conduct,”** and during pleasure.?*® The sheriff might cite the

independence of such an official who held his office par cartam domini regis as an excuse for nonexecution of a royal writ, but apparently the plea was not legally valid.*?® The sheriff of Norfolk in 1335 stated the case against such appointments very forcibly in a petition to parliament. Bailiffs errant, he said, ought to be appointed and removed by the sheriffs for the time being as seemed good to them, since the sheriffs had to answer

for their doings to king and people, and also the profits of such offices made an important contribution to the great sum that the sheriffs had to answer for every year, from unfixed sources, whilst on the other hand bailiffs who held office for life were so sure of their estate that they were not afraid of wronging either sheriff or community.”*° The cautious answer of the council indicated that here was a royal prerogative which they did not feel capable of curbing, and as we have seen, the practice persisted.?** The bailiff itinerant of Suffolk, who was proved in 1331 to have conducted himself ill in his office and was dismissed by the king, may well have been appointed by the king during good conduct, but his successor

was to be appointed by the sheriff.??? In 1342 there was a bailiff of fee appointed by the king to act in the counties of Derby and Nottingham, and the sheriff appointed another bailiff errant to act alongside him—to the great oppression of the people.?”* In the New Forest and the Isle of Wight the office was also a serjeanty held from the crown.””* It will be seen then that the status of bailiff itinerant, and his corresponding relations with local and central government, varied from county to county, and it is probable that, as Dr. Fowler suggests, his work also varied from county to county.

In Berkshire, he points out, practically all orders from the county court are executed by one or other of the bailiffs itinerant, by themselves or by 72° C202 /c27, No. 217 (Hants 1332). C.P.R. 1338-1340, 108.

27 C.P.R 1327-1330, 490 (Lincoln); C.P.R. 1330-1334, 44 (Oxford). 28 C\P.R. 1330-1334, 249 (Southampton); [bid., p. 342 (Northants). 71° Year Book, 2 Henry IV, Mich., fol. x (Hants, 1400). 220 Rot. Parl., Wl, 93.

*21 In the University Library, Cambridge MS., Dd. 3.53, p. 107 (a formulary of the reign

of Richard II or Henry IV) is a formula for letters of protection for a bailiff errant (Lincolnshire).

222 C.C.R, 1330-1334, 251.

223 Assize Roll, No. 691, m. 3. 24 CFR. VII, 216.

174 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 sub-bailifts;?*° in Bedfordshire the bailiff itinerant is hardly mentioned and seems to have no concern with the execution of writs.??¢

(22) Hundred bailiffs However wide the range of the itinerant bailiffs’ activities, the evidence both of administrative and of judicial records makes it clear that there was plenty of work left for the bailiffs of the hundreds to do. It was by them that most of the administrative orders received by the sheriff were executed; from their hands the ordinary countrymen received the communications of the exchequer, the chancery and the benches. Each hundred in the shire had its bailiff duly sworn to his office in the county court,?2? with his recognized assistants, sub-bailiffs or clerks, very probably with his office and rolls,?78

Their appointment and tenure of office present the problems already noted in the case of the bailiff itinerant. Many of the hundred bailiffs, though working under the sheriff’s orders, were neither appointed by nor removable by him. There were three types of hundred bailiff: first the bailiffs of private hundreds, who were at once the bailiff of the lord king and of the lord of the hundred who chose and removed them, like the bailiffs of any other liberty or manor he possessed. Then there were the bailiffs of royal hundreds over which the sheriffs exercised full control, holding their office by direct arrangements with the sheriff. Lastly there were the bailiffs of royal hundreds, appointed by direct royal grant, and sometimes, but not always, accounting direct to the exchequer. Over this last class of appointment a struggle between the king and the sheriffs was being waged, both in parliament and in exchequer, from at least the date of the statute of Lincoln, 1316, to a time well after 1336, a struggle into the details of which it is not possible here to enter.?”® Every such grant of office, unless the sheriff’s position was carefully safeguarded, increased his risk of a deficit on his account at the exchequer, whilst the appointment of king’s yeomen, often strangers to the county, encouraged irresponsibility, harshness and corruption in local administration. The statute of Northampton in 1328 commanded that all hundreds and wapentakes formerly controlled by the sheriffs which the king had granted out since his acces*°°"The formula in the University Library, Cambridge MS Dd. 3.53 enjoins obedience to the itinerant bailiff’s ‘ministers and deputies.’ °° Fowler, Sheriff's Rolls, pp. 4, 54. °27 Stats. of Realm, I, 175. 2° C. H. Jenkinson and M. H. Mills, ‘Rolls from a Sheriff's Office of the Fourteenth century, £.AH.R., XLII (1928), 32. *“° For further details see Helen Cam, ‘The Legislators of Medieval England,’ in Pro-

, ceedings of the British Academy, Vol xxxi, (Oxford 1945), pp. 18-20.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 175 sion should be rejoined to their shires and that no such grants should be made henceforth.”*° The complaint of an ex-sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire in the parliament of November 1330, that nine of the fifteen hundreds of his two counties were in the hands of bailiffs who accounted direct to the exchequer,”** shows that the statute had not ben enforced, and, in response to a petition from the sheriffs of England in February 1330 in the parliament of York, the council ordered the treasurer and barons of the exchequer to carry out the statute.”*? This general command was however followed by a series of special exemptions,?#* and in March 1336 we find the commons in parliament petitioning yet once again that the statute be enforced.”** For our ten years then, we can assume that the system flourished practically unchecked. It was markedly local in its operation; the hundreds which the crown was wont to bestow on its protégés were mostly in Staffordshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire, Norfolk and Yorkshire, but stray instances occur in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Surrey and Wiltshire. In not all of these did the grantee account direct to the exchequer; the extent of his independence of the sheriff varied considerably and in some cases the sheriff had no financial grievance, and probably had as loyal service from the royal nominee as if he had himself selected him.

The royal appointments of hundred bailiffs may be for life, for a term of years, during good conduct, or at the king’s pleasure. They either state the farm payable, or say ‘paying what others have been accustomed to pay by way of farm’ and direct that it be paid either by the sheriff’s hands or by the grantee at the exchequer.”*° Few seignorial appointments of hundred bailiffs are extant. John of Gaunt’s register, however, supplies a good variety of forms of appointment. The bailiff of Higham Ferrars hundred, Northampton, is appointed during the duke’s pleasure, taking the accustomed fees and wages.”*° The bailiff of Halikeld wapentake, Yorkshire,

is appointed during good conduct.**’ The bailiff of North and South Erpingham, Norfolk, is to take the accustomed fees and account for the #80 Stats. of Realm, I, 259, c. 12. 92 Rot. Parl., Ul, 33 (No. 11). The memoranda rolls bear out his statement. 232 C\FLR., IV, 348. °83 C.C.R. 1333-1337, passim 1333-4.

934 Stats. of Reali, I, 276-8. 285 See C.F.R., IV, passin. *36 Tobn of Gaunt’s Register, No. 721. 237 Ibid., No. 381.

176 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 profits to the duke.?#* The bailiff of West Derby, Lancashire, has a grant for three years, ‘paying for the said office as much as any other will pay for it.’23° The bailiwick of Salfordshire, Lancashire, is farmed to two men

for thirteen marks a year for two years, they giving security to govern well and loyally.?#° Staincliff wapentake, Yorkshire, is leased to Robert de Plesyngton with all its issues and profits for a term of twenty years, at an annual rent of £25.74! These letters of appointment were presumably delivered by the bailiffs to the sheriff before they were sworn in full county court.?*?

The only written records of the sheriff’s appointment of bailiffs belong to the reign of Edward I; they are the bonds into which the hundred bailiff entered to pay the farm of the hundred to the sheriff, undertaking to serve the sheriff and the king faithfully, levying the king’s debts and safeguarding his interests.?** These are short term agreements, but successive sheriffs certainly took on their predecessors’ bailiffs. Of the nine hundred-bailiffs

of Bedfordshire in 1333, one held office at least for three years, one for four, three for nine years and one for twelve;”** the hundred-bailiff certainly made a career of his office, and the recurrence of surnames suggests that sons followed their fathers’ calling. Dr. Fowler estimates their social position as that of ‘small, but responsible men.’**° The normal arrangement, then, whoever appointed, was for the bailiff to undertake to make a fixed periodical payment, which represented what

the job was worth to him—‘as much as any other will pay for it’—in the way of fees and perquisites. This does not mean that he retained all the monies he collected in the hundred. In all the hundreds, unless the contrary was expressly stated, there were issues and profits for which the bailiff accounted to the sheriff,?** or lord of the hundred, whilst the money he was ordered to levy on behalf of the crown ‘the king’s debts’—had of course to be paid in to the exchequer. The bailiff’s profits arose from those fees or tips or bribes which by custom or coercion he could claim from the 288 Ibid. No. 674. 230 Ibid. No. 667. 240 Tbid., No. 1392.

741 [bid., No. 1445. Compare the fifteenth-century indentures between the abbot and the hundred bailiffs of St Edmund’s liberty in Suffolk. H. M. Cam, The Hundred and the Hundred Rolls (London, 1930), p. 146. *4? This had been the practice in Worcestershire of the bailiff of the bishop’s hundred of Oswaldslow, Monasticon, I, 612. 748P. Morant, History and Antiquities of the County of Essex (Chelmsford, 1816), I, 76. Note F. Two other bonds not printed by Morant are in the Bodleian Library. *** Fowler, Sheriff's Rolls, p. 5; Assize Roll, No. 31, m. 21. **° Fowler, Sheriffs Rolls, p. 5. **° For instance, the pleas and perquisites of the hundred courts. See the details in E.H.R., xliii (1928), 29-30.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 177 people of the hundred as his commission, so to speak, on the work he did,

both for them and for the king. Whilst this system undoubtedly led to oppression and extortion, to condemn it as unsound is to condemn a whole set of mediaeval habits and assumptions from a standpoint which is hardly

older than the nineteenth century in this country, and which would be repudiated even today by a great number of governments.

We have now to examine the nature of the hundred bailiff’s work. Whilst he had some routine duties, the majority of his activities resulted from direct commands from the sheriff. The roll of the sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, analysed by Mr. Jenkinson and Miss Mills and

edited in part by Dr. Fowler, shows that in the period May 1333 to November 1334 some 2000 writs were received by the sheriff and, for the most part, passed on by him to the appropriate bailiff for execution.?*7 In the Stonor papers (1377-1378) are a number of the mandates issued by a sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire to his bailiffs,?** showing that the writ was copied out in the sheriff’s office and the original retained by the sheriff.**° In 1319 the hundred bailiff of Chelmsford relates how the king’s

writ came to the sheriff of Essex to arrest John de Munteny for a debt under the statute of merchants, and how the sheriff directed his mandate to him, and this was his warrant for arresting John. But as he was unable to give any evidence that he received the sheriff’s mandate or to give the date on which the king’s writ was returnable®®® the jury found the arrest unwarranted and the hundred bailiff was committed to prison. The notes

on the Bedfordshire sheriff’s roll of writs received for execution in the years 1333-1334 show the execution or non-execution of these mandates by the bailiffs both of hundreds and liberties, including the private hundred of Flitt. He kept a separate roll or file of Responsa ballivorum which has not been preserved.**' The sheriff’s notes show a fairly high average of efficiency, slightly higher on the part of royal than of seignorial bailiffs. The hundred bailiff who has not made return is amerced,?®? and so are some bailiffs of liberties,?°* but if a liberty had the return of writs, as the

borough of Bedford or the liberty of St Albans had, the sheriff had no 27 BHR. xliii. (1928), 24. **° Chancery Miscellanea, 37/1/9-19 (unprinted), Stoner Papers, I, 15; cf. p. 80 (Devonshire, 1467). For a mandate by a sheriff to a bailiff itinerant see MSS of Dean and Chapter of Wells, p. 411. **° Dr. Fowler (Sheriff's Rolls, p. 13) is unduly cautious. Cf. E.H.R. xlili (1928), 25, 31. *°°“Non ostendit curie aliquid de mandato vicecomitis nec possit [?] dicere ad quem diem breve domini regis prefato vicecomiti inde directum esset retornabile.’ Assize Roll,

No. 255, m. 3d.

251 FAR. xliii (1928), 32 n. 1.

°°? Fowler, Sheriff's Rolls, p. 6; see select entries Nos. 25, 158, 169. *69 Ibid., p. 33, No. 12; p. 36, No. 69.

178 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 direct weapon against its bailiff (as indeed, he incurred no blame) until a writ of zon omittas enabled him to send his own bailiffs into the liberty, and a writ of venire facias or habeas corpus summoned the recalcitrant franchisal bailiff to answer in the king’s court for non-execution of the

royal command.?** ,

Besides the writs to be executed the sheriff received from the exchequer and the justices particulars of monies to be levied in his county from per-

sons who were in the debt of the crown—summons of the green wax, estreats of the courts and so forth. These also were passed on to the bailiffs of the appropriate hundreds and liberties and had to be collected by them. Besides the royal commands transmitted to him by the sheriff,?°> the hundred bailiff received a number of direct precepts at each session of the county court. In Bedfordshire on 26 April 1333, for instance, the bailiff

of Manshead hundred had twelve orders and the bailiff of Wixamtree thirteen to carry out before the next court met four weeks later.?®* Hundred bailiffs returned quite justifiably ‘that they had not yet been able to execute the order because of the shortness of the time.’ What kinds of action did the execution of these writs, mandates and precepts involve? In answering this question we shift our position and see the bailiff no longer from above, as king and sheriff see him, but from below, as he looks to the residents of the hundred whose persons, homes, and properties are the objects of his activities. In order to compel attendance at court the bailiff may have to summon,

attach, distrain and finally arrest. Attachment is generally a matter of taking pledges, but attachment by the person, like arrest, involves the actual seizure of the party. The bailiff may also have to arrest persons indicted in the tourn or county court. The bailiffs’ activities as distrainor are copiously illustrated in the judicial inquiries of the period. They are

; accused of taking beasts of the plough contrary to the statute,?°’ of distraining greatly in excess of the amount required, of distraining although payment was offered,”°* of taking a bribe to allow manucaption,”® of wrongful seizure and imprisonment,” of using undue violence in arresting persons, of treating them ill after arrest,”** of arresting them without *54 Ibid., p. 37, No. 80; p. 21, n. 125.

*55 The distribution of work between the itinerant bailiff and the hundred bailiffs probably varied from shire to shire. 6° Fowler, Sheriff’s Rolls, p. 54. 57 Assize Roll, No. 255, m. 1 (Essex, 1319). *58 Ibid.. No. 254, m. 4 (Essex, 1315). °5¥ Ibid., No. 337, m. 6d. (Herts, 1341). °9° Tbid., m. 5.

, *91 Ibid., No. 254, m. 3.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 179 warrant from the sheriff, and of making false returns, as that a man is not in the county, or that he has nothing by which he can be distrained.?°? Amongst the direct commands the hundred bailiff might receive from

the sheriff were orders to purvey carts, horses, meat and corn for royal use, paying a fair market price or giving security to pay. This led to many complaints. The bailiffs extorted money for sparing men’s goods, refused to pay for beasts unless allowed a commission on the transaction, took goods without any warrant from the sheriff, or, having the sheriff’s warrant, took them with violence and damage to property.?® The bailiff might have to levy money under various heads. He helped in the collection of subsidies,** he levied royal debts under the green wax.*°? He collected the fines and amercements imposed in the county and hundred courts. He levied money for the repair of bridges.?®* But over and above this he is accused by the countryside of extorting money by threatening to arrest people who have not been legally charged, by impounding beasts wrongfully as waifs and strays and making their owners redeem them, by taking money from men for entertaining strangers contrary to the statute of Winchester, by letting men off army service, when acting as an elector peditum;?®*’ charges which illustrate a very miscellaneous set of administrative duties.

A very important duty which led to much oppression was that of impanelling juries. One hundred bailiff is alleged to have made 23 s. a year for three years by letting men off jury-service, whilst another ‘maliciously

vexes’ a man by putting him on juries and assizes at the bench at Westminster without giving him due warning.?®* Once it is alleged that the bailiff has used this power to defeat justice. A thief seeks counsel and aid from the bailiff of Thurgarton, Nottinghamshire, to escape detection, and the bailiff impanels an inquest which acquits him.’ The responsibility of the bailiff of a private hundred in this matter is well illustrated in 1341, when the sheriff of Bedfordshire, asked why a certain freeman of Flitt hundred had been exempted from jury service, replies that he had sent his mandate to Hugh de Mortimer, bailiff (or rather, lord) of the hundred to array the panel, and that it was not he but Hugh who ought to answer 22 Ibid.. No. 691, m. 6.

99 Tbid.. No. 337, m. 5., m. 6d. (Herts, 1337). 794 Ibid., No. 31, m. 2 (Bedford, 1342). 78° Ibid., No. 337, m. 5. 200 Ibid. No. 691, m. 4d. (Notts, 1342). *°7 Tbid.. No. 254, m. 3 (Essex, 1315); No. 26, m. 16 (Beds, 1330); No. 425, m. 7 (Lancs, 1324); No. 26, m. 6d; m. 29. °°8 Tbid., No. 691, m. 4d; No. 254, mm. 3, 5d. 79° Tbid., No. 391, m. 2d.

180 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 to the king. Hugh’s attempt to put the responsibility on to his sub-bailiff fails.?”° This duty of impanelling juries will bring the hundred bailiffs into contact with the justices of eyre and of gaol delivery; with the coroner, and probably with the keepers of the peace.*”* The eyre roll, if complete, always contains a ‘calendar’ of the hundred bailiffs with the juries of presentment that they have assembled. The hundred bailiff in some counties, though not in all, held the hundred courts every three weeks. Hundred bailiffs are charged with annulling a plea of debt between two litigants in the hundred court, of exacting payments for suit of court from persons who owed no suit, and of amercing men unjustly and extortionately, without having the amercements affeered

by free and lawful men of the hundred as Magna Carta prescribed.?” It was in full hundred court that the hundred bailiff delivered a thief whom he

had arrested red-handed to the tithing men for safe custody.” The hundred bailiff was present at the sheriff’s tourn in his hundred, and might even hold it himself.?** In Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, and pos-

sibly elsewhere, he held the preliminary views of frankpledge or leets in the various villages of his hundred. At these views and leets, besides presenting breaches of the assize of measures and highway offences and such like, the juries appear to have indicted men of felonies before the hundred bailiff, for though the indictments and presentments were almost certainly re-presented by the bailiff and his hundred in the county court, it is the record of the view which figures on the justices’ roll.2”° The hundred bailiff also was

expected to attend the coroners’ inquests, and be present at the present-

ment of their verdicts in the county court.?” , Of the hundred bailiffs’ general responsibility for maintaining the law

and the royal authority the best illustration in our period is the charge brought in August 1333 against the bailiff of Lothingland hundred, Suffolk, of allowing the king’s enemies, Scots and others, to take bullion out of the realm, in return for bribes.?77

Perhaps the best brief survey of the hundred bailiff’s duties is to be found in the indentures between the abbot of Bury St Edmunds and his °79 Ibid., No. 31, m. 1d. *™ For an instance of a corrupt coroner remodelling a jury impanelled by the bailiff see Gesta Abbatum Monasterii S. Albani (Rolls Series), II, 235. 272 Assize Roll, No. 254, m. 2; No. 691, m. 5; No. 770, m. 10; No. 254, m. 5d. *73 Tbid., No. 632, m. 8.

*™ Gaol Delivery Roll No. 123, m. 8. 27 Tbid., No. 125, mm. 6, 8; 123, m. 7-8d.

“"® Gross, op. cit., p. 82. This is undoubtedly the meaning of the passage queried by Gross. The bailiff or a sub-bailiff would in any case have to be present to see that the jury was full. 217 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 501.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 181 hundred bailiffs in the fifteenth century. The bailiff, they run, is to hold hundreds, leets and tourns; to certify inquests to his lord (who stands in the place of the sheriff in the geldable); to levy the fines and amercements owing both to his lord and to the exchequer, and to render an account for them to the abbot, the steward and the coroner of the liberty; to keep the rolls on parchment and hand them over at the end of his term of office; to hear pleas under the value of forty shillings; and he 1s to have full power

to distrain and do all things necessary for the carrying out of these duties.?"* The almost complete absence of reference to the duties of executing writs suggests that in this great liberty another official acted as bailiff

itinerant; otherwise the picture is a well-rounded one.

As to contacts with the central government: the bailiff of a royal hundred controlled by the sheriff (de corpore comitatus) could be called to the exchequer to account to the sheriff there;?”° the bailiff of a royal hundred committed to him by the king, such as the bailiff of Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, or of the seven hundreds of Cookham and Bray, Berkshire, would account direct to the treasurer and barons at the exchequer; the bailiff of a seignorial hundred might be sued by his lord for failure towards him, and summoned to the exchequer to answer for his failure of duty to the king.?®° The ordinary citizen, if aggrieved by him, might bring his bill or querela against him when a justice authorised to hear such complaints was available, and the records both of the exchequer and of the justices show that the hundred bailiff was frequently convicted, and had then to pay a fine to the king and damages to the injured party. (iv) The lesser officials of the hundred: sub-bailiffs, clerks, bedels, etc. The hundred bailiffs had their subordinates also. The work was too heavy to be done by one man and in many counties, the chief bailiff— capitalis’** ballivus—was responsible for two or three hundreds.*** Under him there might be one, two, or three sub-bailiffs, and the community complained bitterly of their multiplication.?** The work of the sub-bailiff, as revealed in the rolls, is the same as the hundred bailiff’s. He purveys, he *78 British Museum, MS. Additional 14848, fol. 53. 7° Fowler, Sheriff's Rolls, p. 46, No. 181. °8° Tbid., Nos. 182, 184.

*81 Capitalis and not capellanus is the extension of the cap noted by Dr. Fowler (Sheriff's Rolls, p. 4, n. 34b; p. 5, n. 43) and it is probable that the c. for which he suggests currens (p. 14, § 18) has the same meaning. *°2 In Cambridgeshire and in Buckinghamshire, to go no further, all the hundreds were grouped in twos or threes which shared a bailiff. "83 Assize Roll, No. 691, m. 8d.

182 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 attaches, he distrains (one sub-bailiff in Cambridgeshire is killed by the distrainee whilst distraining for a government debt),?** he arrests, he levies money (one Hertfordshire sub-bailiff collects money from various persons

in Cheshunt on the plea that the sheriff is in arrears with his account at the exchequer and that they must help him to make up the balance),?** he

affeers the amercements (instead of the proper persons), he makes up panels.?®* Only one habit seems peculiar to the sub-bailiff—a custom which the government had been trying to suppress for nearly a century, but which

was still prevalent in Herefordshire in 1324. Every year at Candlemas the sub-bailiffs of Radlow and Wormelow hundreds collected oats and made a ‘fistale,’ which they compelled men to buy at a half penny a gallon above the market price.?*’ Sometimes the sub-bailiff acted alone, sometimes he accompanied the chief bailiff of the hundred. It was not his activ-

ities but the nature of his responsibility that differentiated him from his magister. A pleading at Colchester in 1319 brings out the nature of this responsibility very well. Walter Bacon, sub-bailiff of ‘Tendring hundred, was charged with the wrongful taking and keeping of an ox and a cow by pretext of his office. He admitted that he was the sub-bailiff at the time (1313). Thomas le But, his master, was charged by Alan of Goldringham, then sheriff of Essex, to levy 20 s. owed to the king under the green wax, and he , Walter, had a precept to that effect from his aforesaid master. So he took the said beasts for the the said 20 s. by the sheriff’s mandate, because

the debtor would not pay the 20 s. and they were sold for the debt at the time of sale. The jury found that the distraint was done by command of the sheriff and the hundred bailiff, but that the debt was for a mark and not a pound, and the beasts were worth 36 s., so that the plaintiff should recover the balance and damages and the sub-bailiff go to gaol.?**

If the preceptum of the chief bailiff to his subordinate was a written one a further vista of secretarial activities is opened up, and the necessity for a hundred clerk becomes clear. The responsa ballivorum filed or enrolled by the sheriff were presumably written by the hundred bailiff’s clerk; a specimen return is to be found in a formulary in the Cambridge University library.?°° The few charges brought against hundred clerks mostly imply administrative rather than clerical activities, but the statement that the clerk of Witham hundred took half a mark from a felon indicted 784 Coroner’s Roll, No. 17, m. 1. 78° Assize Roll, No. 337, m. 5. 788 Ibid.. No. 691, mm. 5d. 7d.; No. 255, m. 6; No. 254, m. 3, No. 425, m. 13. 787 Ibid., No. 316, m. 1d. 288 Ibid., No. 255, m. 4. 789 C.U.L. MS. Ee. 1.1., fol. 169.

Shire Officials: Coroners, Constables, and Bailiffs 183 in the hundred court?®® reminds one that the rolls of the hundred court

had to be kept and might be tampered with, and that the indictments brought before the justices of gaol delivery from the tourn or view of

| frankpledge must have been recorded in writing. The hundred bailiff, it seems, must have had files and rolls, a clerk, and an office.

Of the bedels, nti, summoners and other supernumeraries whom Dr. Fowler mentions,?%? little can be said. A certain amount of work was undoubtedly done by ordinary persons—the amateurs of whose activities Professor White has reminded us.*°? The only point worth noting is the existence up and down the country of very petty serjeanties or bedellerie— bedellus is almost as comprehensive a term as ballivus—by which men were bound to render the service of carrying writs, messages, or summons when required, in return for the tenure of a small plot of land. These hereditary

officials form the last element in the local bureaucracy; they fit into its mosaic without perceptibly altering the pattern of official organization and responsibility, for they, like all the others, take the sheriff’s orders, and the sheriff answers to the lord king in his exchequer. 299 Assize Roll, No. 254, m. 4d. 7°. Fowler, Sheriff’s Rolls, p. 7.

°°? A. B. White, Self-Government at the King’s Command, (Minneapolis 1932).



Bertua Haven Putnam The Problem of Sources

Tee most significant fact concerning the keepers and the justices of the peace during these ten years is the existence of an opposition to their development so powerful that by the end of the decade it had succeeded in greatly lessening their importance, in fact, had very nearly driven them completely off the stage. In the years immediately preceding 1327* the ‘keepers’ had become a regular part of the administrative machinery for keeping the peace and for repressing crimes of violence, and therefore for enforcing the statute of Winchester as far as it was concerned with these two objectives, but they had not been made responsible for its military clauses. The commission of the peace, after a very temporary inclusion of economic matters, gave the keepers authority to inquire by sworn inquest of felonies and trespasses and to arrest those who were indicted and also those under notorious suspicion even though they had not been indicted. The cases thus begun before the keepers were sometimes determined in the king’s bench, but usually either by the justices of gaol delivery, or by ‘supervisors’ appointed under commissions to supervise the keepers and also conjointly with them to enforce the statute of Winchester. Occasionally as in Kent? the keepers were themselves assigned to deliver gaols and to determine indictments, including their own, and were acting therefore as justices. For reasons that will be given later, the most important authority of the keepers was their right to arrest ‘suspects’. The vitality of the office of keeper of the peace as it had developed during the twenty years of the reign of Edward II, without any statutory authorization, 1s attested by the surviving records, some of them very full, of the keepers and of their supervisors,* and by the numerous indictments from *For the whole period up to 1380, see my ‘Transformation of the Keepers of the

Peace into Justices of the Peace, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 4th Series, XII (1929), 19-48; for the later period, see my Proceedings before the Justices of the Peace in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (London, 1938), passim. “See my Kent Keepers of the Peace, 1316-1317, Kent Archaeological Society, Records Branch, XIII (1933). * See my list in £.H.R., XLV (1930). Miss M. Gollancz has edited the Northamptonshire rolls for the Northamptonshire Record Society (1940).

186 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the sessions of the peace found on the gaol delivery rolls for his reign and for the early years of his son, and to a lesser extent on the Coram Rege Rolls.

After the ten years’ period that ended with the eclipse of the keepers, a new phase of their development began in 1338. By the end of the next twelve years, at the time of the great plague, they were firmly established, with control over the new labor laws and with the power to determine felonies and trespasses; in other words, they had been transformed from keepers into justices. Except for two brief periods, 1364-1368 and 13821389, they never lost in theory this power to determine. It is clear that for the keepers of the peace, in spite of some short-lived gains in 1329 and early in 1332, the decade 1327-1336 represents the nadir of their importance, a period of depression between their development during the years immediately preceding 1327, and their even more notable development during the years following 1336. In sharp contrast with the records identified under Edward II, and under Edward III after 1336, not a single peace roll has thus far been discovered for the years 1327-1336; moreover, a superficial examination reveals a diminution of cases from the sessions of the peace on the Gaol Delivery and Coram Rege Rolls. Apart, then, from

an intensive study of these two series of rolls, a study which belongs properly to the investigator of gaol delivery and of king’s bench, informa-

tion on the activities of the keepers and of their organization must be sought in all the familiar subsidiary sources, less valuable for our purpose than session proceedings would have been: statutes, parliamentary petitions, chancery and exchequer material, occasional references in contemporary documents or literature. With the evidence very meager except for the forms of their commissions and for the lists of men appointed, it is not easy to reconstruct an absolutely authentic picture, even with the aid of comparisons between past and future developments. Obviously the possibilities of knowledge of the actual work of the keepers and of the justices of the peace during this special decade compare very unfavorably with similar possibilities for almost any other decade that might have been chosen in their long history. But unpromising as 1s the direct approach, the indirect approach fortunately offers more hope of fruitful results. A study of the forces for and against the keepers throws some light not only on the keepers, but also on the methods used in parliament, on the initiative of the commons, on the part played by the judges, subjects that really belong to the student of council and parliament. A study of the various experiments tried during the decade as substitutes for, or supplements to, the keepers, makes clear

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 187 the essential differences between the keepers and their chief rivals and the reasons for the success of the latter. The very bulk of the existing proceedings before these rivals is in striking contrast to the absence of peace rolls. But before examining the evidence of these proceedings, it is desirable, on the basis of the forms of commissions, to describe the changing powers of the keepers and to explain the powers of their competitors.*

Experiments in keeping the peace: the forms of a variety of commissions In the abnormal conditions under which the new reign began, disorders were inevitably serious and naturally led to the complaints recorded in so many preambles to commissions. The petition of Ja commune for the appointment of bones gentz et leaux ...a la garde de la pees is of course the basis for the famous act of 1327° which merely gave statutory sanction for a system already well established. But it is important to note that the in-

creased authority requested for the keepers in the above petition—the authority to punish—did not appear in the statute. If Ja commune or communitas regni® be identified with the knights of the shire and burgesses as

opposed to the magnates, it is clear that the statute by no means represented the wishes of the commons.’ The resulting commissions were issued

for 20 counties under date of 8 March.* The form, although closely resembling that of the commissions of Edward II, differs from it by the omission of that very power to arrest suspects which has been said to be so vital. For convenience the main clauses are summarized here: Preamble, description of the existing disorders, with emphasis on vagabonds who ride

about in conventicles, assault, kill and rob, in woods and other public places and in fairs and markets. (1) The enforcement of the peace and of the statute of Winchester. (2) Inquiry by sworn inquest of felons, felonies, trespassers and trespasses. (3) Arrest and imprisonment of the indicted until lawful delivery. (4) Execution of the premises on certain days and at certain places. (5) Mandate to the sheriff to assist by empanelling jurors and arresting delinquents.” The significance of the form of the statute and of the commission lies partly in the information it gives as to the policy of the young Edward’s ‘Boroughs and liberties have been excluded from my investigations. © Rot. Parl. UW, 11; 1 Edw. Wl, st. 2, c. 16.

° Used in the preamble of the commission cited below. 7 As implied by H. L. Gray, The Influence of the Commons on Early Legislation (Cambridge, Mass., 1932), pp. 215-223.

* Also for many other counties during the next few months. ° Rot. Parl., I, 12; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 88-90, Patent Roll, 1 Edw. III, pt. 1, membrane between m. 9d and m. 10d. Because of the inaccuracies of the printed Calendar, the summaries

of commissions throughout this paper are based on the MS. text, but for brevity the references are usually merely to the former.

188 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 advisers, Mortimer and the chief justice of the king’s bench, Geoffrey Scrope, who at the moment were in control. If, with a few exceptions to be noted later, keepers of the peace, as a technical term, may at this date be restricted to commissioners appointed by the crown to keep the peace by enforcing the statute of Winchester, it becomes evident that Mortimer and Scrope had reduced the power of the keepers and were not relying mainly on them for dealing with breaches of the peace, crimes of violence or general disorders. The members of the commissions of March 1327 are conspicuously inconspicuous in the realm at large. ‘They include few magnates or distinguished lawyers, and are limited for each shire to two or three of the

type of country gentry whose importance was chiefly local, not unlike the two constables elected for the county of Bedford. In fact, at this period, the high constables of hundreds, often called constables of the peace,*® although differing from the better-known keepers in the method of their appointment and in their relation to local officials, differed very little from them in judicial competence. Both heard presentments of common law felonies and trespasses which were determined before justices

of gaol delivery or before the king’s bench. There is no better proof of the central government’s fundamental lack of confidence in the ability of the keepers to succeed in their task than the statement a little more than two weeks after the appointment of the new commissions that they had failed in two counties and that therefore several great earls had been appointed to supervise their proceedings. Somewhat later, supervisors were appointed for a number of other counties, but the system was not universal as it had been under Edward II and was to be again in 1338."* Instead, a very different scheme

was introduced in the spring of 1328 with the statute of Northampton, a scheme attributed by Miss Cam to Mortimer,’? but for which Scrope probably also had responsibility. This statute was later to be as closely associated with the commission of the peace as was the statute of Winchester itself. It is therefore surprising to find that of its three clauses concerned with the peace, only c. 3, prohibiting the carrying of arms in the presence of justices or in fairs or markets, was to be enforced by the keepers and then merely in conjunction with local officials and with justices to be assigned. Although c. 6 was specifically designed a Ja garde

de la pees and actually mentions Winchester, it was to be enforced by *° Sometimes even called ‘keepers’ of the peace.

7 B. + Putnam, “The Transformation of Keepers, Trans. Royal Hist. Soc., 4th Series, x 122 Edw. Ill, cc. 1-7; H. M. Cam, E.H.R, XXXIX (1924), 241-252.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 189

justices to be assigned, and not by the keepers. The last clause, c. 7, for the punishment of crimes already committed, provided for the issue of commissions to men of law and possibly also for the use of the king’s bench.

The significant point is that under dates of 15 May, a day after the adjournment of parliament, and of 20 July, four groups of magnates and judges were appointed to act within nineteen counties, with powers directly resembling those of the earlier justices of trailbaston."* A comparison of their commissions with those of the peace previously summarized is illuminating. After a similar preamble on existing disorders,

the powers of the new justices are stated to include inquiry by sworn inquest of a long list of offences, and of offenders (many of them officials), almost identical with the list in the more famous trailbaston commissions of 1305-1307; and also the determining of cases of felony begun at the king’s suit and cases of trespass begun either at the king’s suit or

at the suit of the party. The above analysis confirms the truth of Miss Cam’s hypothesis that the statute of Northampton and these commissions of trailbaston were linked with Scrope’s plan for the revival of the general eyre. It seems to show also that in this plan the keepers of the peace with their relatively feeble powers were almost completely ignored. It is there-

fore somewhat surprising to find that within a year the forces favoring the keepers were strong enough through chancery action, perhaps after a discussion in the parliament that had met 9-22 February 1329, to effect temporarily a notable increase in their authority. Under dates of 18 and 23 May, commissions of the peace similar in form to those of March 1327

were enrolled for 38 counties’* for the enforcement of the statute of Winchester (Northampton still omitted), with the addition of two of the extra powers just mentioned for trailbaston, namely determining and dealing with suits of the party in trespass, and, in this case, in felony also. But since the justices of trailbaston continued to act and since the general eyre was soon to begin, the sphere left for the new ‘justices of the peace’ must have been a limited one. No account of law enforcement in this decade can be complete without a reference to Scrope’s carefully planned eyre of 1329-1330 carried

out in only four counties, Bedford, Derby, Northampton and Nottingham. The powers of the justices of eyre are well known, and the preliminaries of this particular eyre have been admirably described by Miss Cam;*° obviously the details of the proceedings must be left to a special study. One episode, however, must be discussed here. In June 1330 toward 18C.P.R. 1327-1330, 297; Cam, Studies in the Hundred Rolls (1921), 77-78. CPLR, 1327-1330, 429-431. 18 FR. XXXIX, 241-252.

190 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 the end of the eyre in Northamptonshire and shortly before that in Bedfordshire, ‘Mounsieur Simond de Draytoun’, formerly a keeper of the peace in Northamptonshire, addressed a prayer to Scrope: ‘felons have fled from the shire during the eyre but will certainly return at its close, together with felons from Bedfordshire; we therefore beg you before

your departure to appoint (ordiner) keepers of the peace willing and able to keep the peace as well as you have done.’ According to the report Scrope did as requested, but there is doubt as to just what he did. It may be that he was responsible for the next commission enrolled for Northamptonshire under the date of 8 September." Its omission of the

newly acquired powers of determining fits in with what is known of Scrope’s policy. Or it may be that the clue to his action in Northamptonshire (action which failed of enrolment), is to be found at the beginning

of the Bedfordshire eyre in this same month of June. The election in the Bedfordshire county court is recorded of two county constables of the peace, Roger Beauchamp, knight, and Nicholas de Salford, knight, with

a mandate to the sheriff to be intendant to them.?® Their class, their area of jurisdiction, their relation to the sheriff, distinguish them sharply

from the normal high constables of hundreds and suggest a definite attempt to exalt the office of elected county constables of the peace. Had it been successful, it would probably have led to the disappearance of the crown-appointed keepers of the peace between whom and these county constables there would have been even less difference than has been shown to exist between the keepers and the hundred constables. With the abandonment of the eyre, however, came the abandonment

of this novel plan, if indeed it had actually existed; instead, in the parliament of 26 November—9 December 1330 (just after Mortimer’s execution), a carefully worked out scheme for the improvement of administrative methods was presented that involved the abolition of the new powers of the keepers of the peace. The resulting enactment’? was probably framed at the suggestion of Scrope and of other professional lawyers and was as important for the justices of assize and for the system of gaol delivery as for the keepers: (1) bones gentz et sages are to be appointed in all counties to take the assizes and to deliver gaols three times a year, clearly a re-inforcement of c. 2 of the statute of Northampton; (2) bones gentz et loialx are to be assigned in each county to *© Harvard Law School Library, MS. 3, f. 31; called to my attention by Mr. Irwin Langbein. 7 C\P.R. 1327-1330, 562.

, 294 Edw.18 Assize III, Roll, c. No. 2.25, m. 97 d.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 191

keep the peace; (3) they are to send their indictments to the justices of gaol delivery, instead of determining them in their sessions. A provision for the appointment of bones gentz et sages de la lei to hear and determine offences of officials was agreed to by king and council.?° The changes in

the methods of gaol delivery will be discussed later; here we are concerned with the changes in the form of the commission of the peace. Evidently for the period of nearly a year and a half after May 1329

opposing views on the keepers were causing constant vacillation in chancery. No full lists were issued, but a dozen or more commissions were appointed, sometimes in the old form of 1327, sometimes in the new form of 1329.7? By 1331, however, the full effect of the action of parliament and council and of the victory of the opponents of the keepers is revealed. Under date of 16 February, commissions of the peace were issued for 42

counties in the form of 1327, with an additional clause on sending indictments to the justices of gaol delivery.** At almost the same time, under date of 18 February, the commissions of oyer and terminer promised by the

council were issued for 36 counties (in thirteen groups),”* with powers similar to, although not identical with, the powers of the recent justices of trailbaston: inquiry by sworn inguest of felonies and of a long list of offences of officials and the determining of cases begun either at the king’s suit or at the suit of the party. During the spring and early summer, sporadic commissions were appointed very similar to the above,?* and also a few commissions for the enforcement of the arms clause of Northampton and for hearing and determining felonies and trespasses.”° One reason for summoning the parliament in the autumn of 1331 was stated to be the problem of keeping the peace. A formal promise made by les grantz not to maintain men of bad fame shows the nature of the difficulties. The enactment of the statute of Roberdesmen authorizing local officials to arrest suspects by day as well as by night, and its inclusion in the commissions of the peace for towns,”° were perhaps a partial concession to make up for the loss by the shire keepers of the peace of their

power over suspects. That the contest between opposing views still continued is proved by the withdrawal in November of the above com20 Rot. Parl., II, 60; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 286-287.

1B. H. Putnam, “The Transformation of Keepers, p. 27, n. 9. 22 C\P.R. 1330-1334, 136-137. 29 Ibid., 133-134.

*4 Ibid., 138-139; e.g., 8 May, Northamptonshire and Rutland. The earliest was on 15 February. °° C.P.R. 1330-1334, 142; 8 May, Norfolk (omitted from the Calendar) and Suffolk. 76.5 Edw. III. c. 14; cf. Rot. Parl., UH, 62; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 422; B. H. Putnam, “The Transformation of Keepers,’ p. 28.

192 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 missions of 18 February 1331,*’ and the issue under date of 12 February 1332 of commissions of the peace for 39 counties,?® in a form that completely reversed the policy of the previous year. Not only was the statute

of Northampton added to the clause on the enforcement of peace and of Winchester, but also the power of delivering gaols of prisoners indicted in the sessions of the peace. Thus by action of chancery and council with no apparent reference to parliament, the statute of 1330 was set aside; once again the ‘keepers’ were transformed into ‘justices’. There seems no obvious reason why these ‘justices’, with greater powers than their predeces-

sors, the ‘keepers’, should not have been deemed adequate for the task of keeping the peace. It is therefore interesting to note the persistence of Scrope. All his schemes had been blocked: the general eyre had failed to be general; the commissions of trailbaston of 1328 had ceased to function and those of oyer and terminer (sometimes called trailbaston) of 1331 had been recalled; the policy worked out in the statute of 1330 had been upset.

But when parliament began its sessions on 16 March 1332, he was able through his leadership to carry out another plan by which once again the keepers were reduced to comparative insignificance.

After his forceful opening speech on the disorders caused by gangs of marauders and a request for counsel, the prelates were advised to withdraw on the plea that keeping the peace was not their business.?® The drawing up of the new plan or ‘agreement’ (not ‘statute’ in contemporary

usage) was apparently the work of the lay lords alone, neither prelates nor knights and burgesses taking part in the preliminary discussions. But when completed, it was read to all the groups in parliament including the king, and was accepted by all. The ‘agreement’ provided for the appointment des plus grantz as keepers of counties,®° with no specific reference to either Winchester or Northampton, but with control of array and with right to arrest suspects and to hear and determine felonies and trespasses;

the sheriffs, the keepers of the peace, and all people, were to aid les grantz, and the king was to travel from county to county to see how the guilty were being punished. Not till after the commons had departed on Saturday, 21 March, were the lists read before the king and magnates (on Monday, 23 March), and also the form of the commission, which differed slightly from the ‘agreement’ in omitting array and reference to 27C.C.R. 1330-1333, 425. 2° C.P.R. 1330-1334, 285-288.

2° Rot. Parl., Ul, 64-65.

“° Not keepers of the peace; see B. H. Putnam, ‘The Transformation of Keepers,’ pp. 29-30. The older erroneous interpretation unfortunately re-appears in English Constitu-

| eee Documents, 1307-1485, ed. E. C. Lodge and G. A. Thornton (Cambridge, 1935),

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 193 trespasses, and in substituting for the clause on suspects certain emergency powers of arrest. The preamble is almost identical with that of the commissions of the peace and of course with much of Scrope’s opening speech, but ends with a statement that the recently assigned keepers of the peace

had failed to prevent the increase of armed bands of marauders. Three sets of commissions, two tested 21 March, the third 23 March, with considerable repetition of names, show confusion in chancery; but all three sets, while containing many of the members of the commission of the peace of the previous month, include a larger proportion of distinguished lawyers and magnates.** Further complications are introduced by the appointment, dated 28 March,*” of three famous judges and two magnates to deal with breaches of the peace and to hear and determine felonies and trespasses in fourteen counties, acting under commissions very similar to those of the new commissions; and also by the occasional use of com-

missions like those of February 1331 for inquiry into offences of officials.*3

It is not strange that conflicts of jurisdiction occurred** and that in the parliament of September 1332 there was a movement toward simplifica-

tion. At the request of both magnates and knights, the commissions to keepers of counties were withdrawn by letters close dated 28 October,°° on the ground that the disorders had been overcome and that keepers of

the peace for the enforcement of Winchester had been sanctioned by parliament. But instead of simplification, the confusion became worse confounded during the years from 1333 through 1336, years that included

three parliaments at York. No general lists of keepers of the peace are enrolled until July 1338, after the decade covered by this study; but a few commissions are recorded, sometimes in the form of 1332 with the omission of Northampton, sometimes in the old form of 1327 with the addition of Northampton.*® The vacillation suggests that there was doubt as to whether the statute of 1330 on gaol delivery was still in force.?” But the main point is the recourse to further experiments in which the

keepers of the peace played a very small part. Just after the first York parliament, justices were appointed (to be assisted by the keepers of the 1 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 292-295, 348-349, 296-297. 82 Ibid., 295. 33 Ibid., 449.

84 Cf. e.g. Assize Roll, No. 190, m. 1d. 88 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 610 (cf. 616); Rot. Parl., Il, 66-67. °° B. H. Putnam, “The Transformation of Keepers,’ p. 30, n. 6. “7 A petition of 1334 indicates some confusion between this statute and c. 2 of Northampton; see Rotzli Parliamentorum Inediti, ed. H. G. Richardson and G. O. Sayles (Camden Soc., 3rd Series, LI, 1935), p. 235.

194 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 peace) under commissions closely resembling later commissions to justices of the peace, to act in ten counties in which the keepers of the peace were said to have failed.*® In the second York parliament, 1334, an important petition complains that justices of oyer and terminer (clearly the keepers

of counties) had also failed and requests the appointment in each county of ascuns grantz de bone fame together with a man of law, who shall sit until they finish their business and shall send their ‘determined’ indictments to the king each year.*® The result was the appointment under date of 2 March of supervisors over the keepers of the peace in six counties arranged in three groups.*° By an agreement reached in parliament still different methods were tried—the greater excommunication and pressure on sheriffs to enforce the arms clause of the statute of Northampton.* A year later, in the third York parliament, the adoption of another

device for keeping the peace indicated that the sheriffs had not been altogether successful. It was ‘ordained and agreed’ that after the king went

to Scotland infringers of the arms clause should be treated as rebels.*? The resulting commissions, issued under date of 26 July 1335 for 41 counties,** are unique in their form: the enforcement of peace, of the statute of Northampton (Winchester not mentioned), and of this York ‘ordinance’; inquiry by sworn inquest of felonies, trespasses and infringements of the ordinance, but without power to determine cases.

This experiment seems to have been considered no more successful than its many predecessors. In less than a year all groups in the parliament of March 1336 united in urging new remedies and succeeded in making another “ordinance or agreement’, ‘not to be holden for a statute’, author-

izing the issue of special commissions to arrest within certain areas individuals ‘notoriously suspect’ and to imprison them until commanded otherwise by the king.** In September in a great council at Nottingham, the power to deal summarily with suspects received renewed and extended sanction*® and was made the central point of the final experiment *° 15 Feb. 1333 (C.P.R. 1330-1334, 445). Important men including Shareshull were among those assigned. In July a somewhat different scheme was tried in Lincolnshire (ibid., 495),

in October an eyre was declared in Kent and bought off; ibid., 475-476, C.F.R. 13271337, 395, 414, 473.

*° Rot. Parl. Inediti, pp. 232-233, 239; cf. the garbled version in Rot. Parl., Il, app.

376-377. , 3. The 573.

list in Rot. Parl. Inediti (p. 239) differs slightly from that in C.P.R. 1330-1334,

“: Ibid., 573-574; 584.

*? Dignity of a Peer, \V, 44-46 (not included in Rot. Parl., II, 90-95).

‘SC.P.R. 1334-1338, 208-210; cf. 284, 287, etc. , “+ Stats. of the Realm, I, 276-278, C.P.R. 1334-1338, 290.

) ““ Dignity of a Peer, IV, 460-463.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 195

of the decade. Under date of 16 October 1336 commissions were issued

for 34 counties*® in a form that is significant for the omission of all reference to the statutes of Winchester and Northampton. After a preamble that combined those of the commissions of the peace, of the keepers of counties, and of the recent commissions to enforce the York ordinance, the new justices were given powers of summary arrest of suspects, of inquiry by sworn inquest of felonies and trespasses, and of determining all such cases begun either at the king’s suit or at the suit of the party. The combination of the three preambles suggests that these commissions were to take the place of all previous commissions dealing with crimes of violence, but once again a tentative scheme did not prove permanent. Under date of 2 June 1337, on the plea that among those concerned in the new sessions there were many men suitable for fighting in Scotland and overseas, the commissions of 1336 were withdrawn.** For the moment there seemed few crown-appointed commissioners left for the task of keeping the peace. Certainly from the end of 1332 until 1337, indeed until the summer of 1338, the keepers of the peace had for all practical purposes become negligible. In support of this conclusion, it is essential to clarify terminology, about which there has been much misunderstanding both in regard to keepers of the peace and to justices of trailbaston. As has been suggested,

there is a close connection between the statute of Winchester and the phrase ‘keepers of the peace.’** After variations in practice under Edward

IT, it is, 1 think, true that by the reign of Edward III, crown-appointed officials are not ordinarily described as keepers of the peace unless Winchester is mentioned in their commission: also, that, except in the case of

supervisors, the enforcement of the statute of Winchester (other than the military clauses) is almost never entrusted to commissioners other than to the keepers or justices of the peace. In other words, the phrase is becoming, or has become, a technical term. It must, however, be admitted

that contemporaries are not always consistent nor absolutely accurate and that sometimes the results are confusing. For example ‘keepers of counties’ are occasionally called ‘keepers of the peace’,*® although usually

merely ‘keepers of counties’; commissioners to enforce the statute of Northampton and the York agreement are frequently referred to as ‘keepers of the peace’.°° But on the whole it is sound to state that keepers, “° C\P.R. 1334-1338, 367-371 (for London also). “1C.C.R. 1337-1339, 134.

“°B. H. Putnam, “The Transformation of Keepers,’ pp. 23-24. *° Coram Rege Roll (hereinafter cited as C.R.R.) No. 289, Rex m, 1. 5° Assize Roll, No. 390, m. 2.

196 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and later justices, of the peace are definitely associated with a form of commission that although constantly changing is singularly stable in its

inclusion of the statutes of Winchester and Northampton. Since the keepers had judicial powers for so short a time during this decade, it is evident that despite an occasional contemporary allusion to ‘justices of the peace’,°? ‘keepers of the peace’ is the more correct designation.

Meanwhile, trailbaston by precisely the reverse process is ceasing to be a technical term. The justices to enforce c. 7 of Northampton are acting under commissions that are popularly called trailbaston, almost identical in form with the famous ones of 1305; yet in official headings they are described as justices of oyer and terminer.®? On the other hand, contemporaries apply the term trailbaston to a commission of oyer and terminer of 1334, to commissions for arrest of suspects, like those of 1336, to supervisors of the keepers of the peace, and later to justices of the great inquiry of 1340.°% That is, they are applying it to general commissions

of oyer and terminer with extensive powers, especially in relation to offences of officials, certain to result in the imposition of heavy financial penalties, or in other words, to commissions that were dreaded and disliked, whatever might be their particular form.** It is these unpopular commissions that prove to have been extraordinarily active from 1327 to 1336, far more active than the commissions of the peace.

Results of the experiments: proceedings before commissions other than commissions of the peace The appended table lists for the decade all the rolls®® thus far identified

that contain proceedings before the various competitors of the keepers of the peace and indicates by negative evidence that no peace rolls qua distinct rolls have been discovered. An analysis of one example each of proceedings before several types of these rival justices and a study of the work of the commissions of the peace, based, unfortunately, on relatively meager evidence, will prepare the way for a comparison between the effectiveness of the keepers of the peace and of their competitors.

Commissions of trailbaston. 15 May 1328 Assize Roll 516 contains 60 long membranes of sessions held in Lin-

colnshire in June and July before William de Ros and Richard Grey, °° B. H. Putnam, “The Transformation of Keepers,’ p. 27. 5? Assize Roll, No. 516, m. 1.

°° See references in B. H. Putnam, “The Transformation of Keepers,’ p. 40, n. 1, and cf. Rot. Parl. Inediti, 271. °* See B. H. Putnam, Proceedings, pp. xlvi-xlvii.

’ °° With one exception, classified in the Public Record Office as Assize Rolls.

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198 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 distinguished magnates, John de Stonor, a famous justice of the common pleas, and John de Cantebrigge, king’s serjeant, soon to be a justice of the same court. The cases removed coram rege from these sessions occupy

a large part of the Rex Rolls for Easter term 3 Edw. III, 1329, and for several later terms. For example, the gaol delivery at Lincoln before the king’s bench in Trinity term 5 Edw. III, 1331, includes process on many prisoners indicted before ‘Ros and his fellows’, in some instances certainly acting under the trailbaston commission.°®

The work of the clerk of the Lincolnshire justices has rendered admirably clear the structure of the roll and its contents. The enrolments include the commission, writs°’ and returns, about 2000 presentments by hundred juries, suits of the party in trespass, gaol delivery at Lincoln and some trials, charters of pardon granted on condition of fighting the Scots, extraordinarily long lists of attorneys. The offences are mainly felonies: a few cases of arson, petty treason and rape, a large number of homicides, of thefts, robberies, and burglaries (the term is frequent), and of receipt of felons; one burglary is of the castle of Ros who is himself acting as justice.°® Among the trespasses are offences of local officials, such

as the illegal holding of a sheriff’s court in a cemetery.®® There are instances of prisoners standing mute and after a special investigation being sent back to prison ad dietam.®° Altogether it is a roll that gives a particularly complete picture of criminal proceedings and that bears a close resemblance to the rolls of the criminal side of an eyre. The absence of surviving rolls for the remaining area of their jurisdiction—Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire—and of cases therefrom on the Coram Rege Rolls makes it seem probable that the justices

had confined their activities to Lincolnshire, perhaps because of the plans for a general eyre so soon to take place in at least two of the other counties. *?

The general eyre, 1329-1330

Since the subject of eyres is not within the compass of this paper, only a few salient points can be noted. The thoroughness with which the justices performed their duties in the four counties in which they acted— °° C.R.R. No. 285, Rex (after m. 31). For supplementary writs, see C.C.R. 1327-1330, 343, 350, etc.

°? Many from the king’s bench. 58 Assize Roll, No. 516, m. 4. 5° Idem, m. 5d. °° Idem, m. 17.

** Assize Roll, No. 548, contains proceedings under a similar commission for London, , dated 2 Feb. 1329.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 199

Bedford, Derby, Northampton, and Nottingham—is proved by the bulk of the surviving rolls, well over a thousand membranes. The mass of material tells its own story. The usual felonies, a great variety of trespasses,

the failure of vills to keep the watch according to Winchester, the many

serious offences of officials, lead to the conclusion that for criminal law there was little need of other itinerant justices, certainly not of keepers of the peace, in counties where eyres were being held. Commissions of oyer and terminer, 1331

Assize Rolls 1124 and 1125, consisting of 7 and 27 membranes respectively, contain proceedings in Yorkshire held under the commissions of 18 February to bones gentz et sages de la ley, Thomas Wake, a great lord, chief justice Scrope, and two others. The commission is enrolled, also presentments, trials and full process; the offences, felonies and trespasses, were many of them committed by officials. A large number of the cases were removed coram rege and appear in Hilary term 1332 and subsequently.*”

Assize Rolls 637, of 10 membranes, and 730, of 4 membranes, contain proceedings in Northamptonshire and Rutland respectively, before Ver-

doun, Engayne, Robert Thorpe and William Bretoun, acting in both counties under a commission of 8 May.®* The Northamptonshire sessions,

lasting from 25 June well into July,°* were concerned with the usual felonies and trespasses, including forest offences and offences of officials. An unusual case is that of a man indicted as a common usurer for selling at 8 s. a foal worth only 4s.°° The roll has considerable variety of material:

trials, elaborate details of pleading; placita ... per billas; references to proclamations in public places bidding all who wished appear with querelas;°° many convictions for trespass involving huge fines; writs from

the king’s bench calling for special indictments, with resulting coram rege enrolment.’ It is interesting to speculate whether the inhabitants of Northamptonshire, with the recent session of the king’s bench in their shire and with the still more recent eyre, so soon followed by these drastic oyer and terminer proceedings, felt well protected or merely harassed. °° C.R.R., No. 287, Rex m. 34; No. 293, Rex m. 14 d. etc. For Notts and Cambs, see C.R.R. No. 286, Rex m. 39 d.; No. 287, Rex m. 3. °° The rolls were delivered at Westminster on 30 April 15 Edw. III, evidently in con-

nection with the great inquiry of 1340 (m. 10d.).

°* Although the justices were superseded on 28 June; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 138. ®5 Assize Roll, No. 637, m. 2.

°° Assize Roll, No. 637, mm. 5, 1. °7 C.R.R., No. 289, Rex m. 20 d.; No. 290, Rex m. 31; No. 292, Rex m. 24 d.

200 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Assize Rolls 599 and 607, of 9 and 35 membranes respectively, contain the Norfolk proceedings before Stonor and Cantebrigge, appointed under date of 8 May, to enforce in both Norfolk and Suffolk the arms clause of Northampton and to hear and determine felonies. Although the Suffolk roll has not turned up, many cases from it as well as from the Norfolk rolls appear on Coram Rege and Gaol Delivery Rolls.®* Both counties were being subjected to an incessant stream of commissions almost identical in character: dated 18 February, 25 March, 8 May, 30 May, and 24 June;°? but Stonor and Cantebrigge, without the other commission-

ers, held sessions in June and July at Norwich, Lynn and Thetford” quite as if they alone were responsible. The longer roll has presentments of the usual felonies and trespasses;

a large proportion of assaults, often on tax collectors; attacks on men keeping the watch ‘according to Winchester’; vague indictments of bad fame, of common malefactors, of wanderers by night."! The shorter roll

contains mainly process on, and trials of, these presentments, nearly half for homicide, a few for arson, burglary, robbery, theft, false appeals, champerty, and extortion."? Pardons are frequent, also suits of the party in trespass, secta being used alternately with querimonia. Is it barely pos-

sible that the attempt of these two lawyers to deal with the statute of Northampton led to its inclusion in the commission of the peace by February 1332? Commissions to Reepers of counties, 1332

Assize Rolls 428, of 12 membranes, and 520, of 17 membranes, contain proceedings in Lancashire and Lincolnshire respectively, before the keepers commissioned 21 March; Assize Roll 1411 b, containing 7 membranes, proceedings in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire,

Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, and Rutland before the keepers of 28 March. The Lancashire sessions have been chosen for analysis, beginning

in April and including a gaol delivery in 1333.7* The roll contains the commission, presentments, trials, and an incredibly long list of fines for trespasses, numerous assaults, also extortion, forestalling, and one case of a forced marriage.”* Evidently the omission from the commission (despite °° C.R.R., No. 287, Rex m. 1; No. 288, Rex m. 32, etc., G.D.R., No. 49, Norfolk, No. 64, Suffolk; passiz. °° C.P.R, 1330-1334, 134, 138, 144. 7° Assize Roll, No. 599, mm. 1, 6 (possibly Dec. also), No. 607, m. 1. Many supplementary writs appear in the Calendars. ™ Assize Roll, No. 607, mm. 1, 18. 7? Assize Roll, No. 599, m. 4. 78 Assize Roll, No. 428, mm. 2, 6.

’ ™* Idem, m. 4.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 201 the ‘agreement’) of the specific power to deal with trespass had no effect in practice. About half the cases are felonies, many homicides, burglaries (usually described by the term), a few examples of arson, rape and theft.”®

The roll is monotonous, lacking in details and with no offences of officials.

The most interesting aspect of the work of the keepers of counties lies in the control exercised over them by the king’s bench. Between 1332 and 1334 the court sat at Lincoln, Wigan, Warwick, Westminster, York, and Stamford. An extraordinarily large number of cases from the Lincolnshire proceedings and also cases from similar proceedings in over half a dozen other countries are enrolled coram rege for successive terms, even as late as Hilary 1337.7° When it is remembered that the keepers were withdrawn in a little over six months after their appointment, it is evident that their efforts had had a fair measure of success, a success that was probably due in part to this supervision by the king’s bench. Commissions to deal with suspects, 1336

Of the various experiments tried between 1332 and 1336 only a few full records have been identified, none unfortunately for the unique commissions of July 1335. But luckily proceedings before the commissions of October 1336 have survived for four counties.*’ The Kent roll has been

chosen for analysis; it contains indictments brought in sessions at Canterbury and at Rochester in 1336 and 1337, before Savage, Hampton, Aledone and Recolure (Clynton is omitted although heading the commission), described as justices assigned to hear and determine certain felonies and trespasses. When the commissions were withdrawn on 2 June 1337,"* the indictments were undoubtedly called for by the king’s bench which was to sit at Canterbury in the following Michaelmas term. Many cases from these Kent sessions and from similar sessions in other counties are enrolled coram rege in this term and subsequently.” The Kent roll is valuable for initial process, for appeals, for the intervention of the king’s bench in instances of conflict of jurisdiction, and for the effect of the writ of szpersedeas.®°® In addition to the usual felonies ‘°] have examined carcfully only half the roll. 7°C.R.R., No. 289, Rex m. 1; No. 291, Rex m. 25d.; No. 293, Rex mm. 8, 10, etc. 77 Assize Rolls, No. 219, 3 membranes, Dorset; Nos. 335, 336, 8 membranes cach, Hertfordshire; No. 390, 7 membranes, Kent; No. 1421, 8 membranes, \Wultshire. 8 C.CLR. 1337-1339, 134. The original writ is attached to m. 6. ™C.R.R., No. 310, Rex, passinz. Many cases were called for by special writs; Assize Roll, No. 390, passia. 8° Assize Roll, No. 390, mm. 5, 2.

202 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and trespasses there are some interesting cases: illegal distraint by a pretended bailiff, refusal to permit a coroner to view a corpse, refusal to pay

lot and scot in the hundred, and examples of riding armed in fairs and markets.** But the essential point is that the roll contains no reference to summary arrest of suspects, the main object of this particular commission; instead, it is precisely like an ordinary roll of oyer and terminer. This examination of actual proceedings has shown not only remarkable energy and effectiveness on the part of the various types of justices, but also remarkable similarities in procedure and in offences dealt with,

whatever the form of their commissions: Plus ¢a change, plus c’est la méme chose.

Results of the experiments: the organization and control of the keepers of the peace and of their sessions

Preambles to commissions of the peace and to statutes and petitions in parliament show that several groups were complaining to the central government of disorders: ex clamosa insinuatione populi regni nostri in parliamento nostro and ex frequenti querela diversorum ligeorum nostrorum. But the evidence for the method of appointment of keepers of the peace to cope with these evils is slight. In the opening parliament of the reign it is stated that they are to be chosen by election du conseil le roi;

the responsibility thus rested upon the treasurer and the chancellor.® An interesting petition of 1332 has been identified requesting the removal

from the Devon commission of the peace of Nicholas Dauney who is neither ‘a doer nor a lover of peace’ and who was not nominated per patriam.*® Although there is no proof of the reading of the names in parliament as in the case of the keepers of the counties, it 1s probable that

the issue of full lists like those dated 8 March 1327 or 18 May 1329, either during a session or within a short time after its close, implied that suggestions had been made in parliament.** On the other hand the sporadic commissions so often found for a single county were probably due to local pressure and explain the fact that in 1330 Bury, the keeper of the privy seal, was actually ignorant of the names of the existing keepers.*° The qualifications demanded in petitions and enacted in statutes are vague and obvious: ‘bones gentz et loialx, queux ne sont mye meytenours ®1 Tbid., mm. 1, 3, 5, 2.

*? Rot. Parl., 1, 12; Putnam, “The Transformation of Keepers,’ p. 25. °° Ibid., p. 44. I am indebted to Dr. Sayles for an accurate transcript. °¢ In 1327, the commons were dismissed on 23 Feb. and on 9 March; in 1329, on 22 Feb. (/nterim Report of Committee on House of Commons, London, 1932). °° Chancery Warrants, 451/31582; noted by Dr. Sayles. For Bury, see Tout, Chapters in Administrative History, V, 5-6.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 203 de malveis baretz.’®* The latter phrase 1s well justified by the far too fre-

quent ‘maintenance’ by magnates of felons and peace-breakers. The membership for each shire of the 1327 commissions is small, usually two

or three; the number increases slightly in the following years to four, five or six, very different from the sixty or eighty of later centuries. With some notable exceptions, the members are of about equal rank and experience. There was no custos rotulorum, and no quorum, not even during the brief period when the keepers had judicial powers. It may be assumed that of the smaller commissions all the members sat, and certainly at least two.8” The term ‘chief keeper’, although more often at this date applied to a ‘supervisor’, also occurs in its later sense, namely the first-named on a given list who usually acted as chairman; for example, John de Wittlebury is described in 1335 as ‘chief keeper of the peace in Rutland’.®®

The keepers were certainly sworn, but by whom*® or by what form of oath, I do not know; perhaps by some such phrases as were recorded in 1331 of the king’s desire for law-enforcement: ge droit soit fait as touz, auxibien as poures come as riches, and that justices ne pur priere de nully, n esparnent ne lessent a faire droit as touz.°° In spite of clear evidence that their competitors were paid, there is no indication of wages for the keepers.°* But since during almost all of this decade they were merely hearing indictments and not trying cases, the financial profits of their sessions would have been slight, consisting mainly of penalties on delinquent jurors, penalties that Marowe, many years later, held could not be used for wages.°? Although the indictments enrolled on the Gaol Delivery and Coram Rege Rolls prove that records were duly made, presumably by a clerk, not only have no full peace rolls been identified for the decade but there is no evidence that they had ever existed. To be sure, tres bagas conservatorum pacis de itinere Bed were delivered at the treasury of receipt in 1331,°% but as they cannot now be discovered, it is uncertain whether they contained rolls or merely separate memoranda. When the Huntingdonshire keepers were ordered in 1329 to correct an indictment adjudged °° In 1327 and 1330.

*7 But Thomas de Berkeley sat alone. “* See B. H. Putnam, Proceedings, p. Ixxxv. *° In Cambridge by the chancellor or vice-chancellor, C.P.R. 1334-1338, 240. °0 Rot. Parl., Il, 60; C.C.R. 1330-1333, 286-287. " Rot. Parl. Inediti, 188, 232-233. *’ B. H. Putnam, Early Treatises on the Practice of the Justices of the Peace (1924), p.

oar Palgrave, Antient Inventories of the Treasury, 1, xliv; III, 157.

204 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 defective by the king’s bench, they replied that having delivered the indictment to the court they had no copy in their possession. Similarly the Bucks keepers of 1331 were summoned to appear because of discrepancies (in value of goods stolen) between two versions of an indictment, one of which had been sent to gaol delivery, the other brought into king’s

bench by the injured party. There was a suspicion that the second emanavit ignoranter et surreptitie, but there is no suggestion of recourse to an official roll.°* The ‘chief keeper’ seems to have had peculiar responsibility for safe-guarding the records; to cite one instance, the chief keeper

in Staffordshire was attached and then distrained to produce a certain indictment.”® It is clear that when the keepers were not determining their indictments but were forced to send them to a superior court, there was little incentive for enrolling them or for keeping a permanent copy. Had the statute of 1335 been enacted a little later, the history of peace rolls might have been very different.*° Impossible as it is to ascertain the length and frequency of the sessions in different counties, some dates and places can be learned from scattered references, mainly on the Gaol Delivery and Coram Rege Rolls. Without statutory provision, the irregularities in date are too numerous to record. For place, it 1s interesting to find that sessions are held not only at a chief shire town like Exeter, but also at comparatively small towns like Wolverhampton in Staffordshire.®”

Besides the keepers, the sheriff and his subordinates must have been present at a session; also the hundred jurors whom he had impanelled; and constables, bailiffs and coroners; but except for a short period no trial

jurors. The presenting jurors, usually twelve or thirteen, occasionally twenty-five,°* were sworn, probably by the oath in use in Bracton’s day.

On the analogy of earlier and later custom, they must have received a

1SSI icl f Winch 99

charge based on the commission and on the articles o inchester.

Except for the eighteen months when suits of the party were allowed, the proceedings consisted of presentments, and of the issue of writs of process, only rarely ending in imprisonment. A few details must be mentioned of incidents outside of sessions. The **C.R.R., 305, Rex m. 1. °° C.R.R., No. 280, Rex m. 12 d.

°°9 Edward II], st. 1, c. 5; justices of assize, of gaol delivery, and of oyer and terminer were to deliver their rolls and estreats to the exchequer each year. °T C.R.R., No. 282, Rex m. 35. °° C.R.R., No. 271, Rex m. 13.

°° B. H. Putnam, Proceedings, pp. xxxii-iii. A session in Gloucestershire is described as

, ‘before Thomas de Berkele and his fellows, keepers of the peace super statutum Wynton’: C.R.R., No. 278, Rex m. 12.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 205

jurors were sometimes dishonest and cowardly, and sometimes revealed the secrets of their colleagues.*°° An energetic Bedfordshire keeper on hearing of robbers in a certain wood urged the gentz du pays to assemble and aid him in their arrest.7°’ Perhaps the most famous case was the murder of Wittlebury, the Rutland chief keeper, by men of whom he had complained.*°?

The tentative and experimental nature of the efforts at effective keep-

ing of the peace is nowhere shown more clearly than in the numerous methods tried of controlling the keepers: through supervisors, ‘afforcement’ of an existing commission, or action of justices of higher courts— oyer and terminer, eyre, gaol delivery, king’s bench. In marked contrast to the regularized system under Edward II, supervisors with varying powers were appointed sporadically in ten or eleven counties. A few instances must suffice. Under date of 24 March the Suffolk keepers, assigned only two weeks before, were bidden to hold their inquests at Hendon on

3 April; Thomas, earl marshal, and Edward, earl of Kent, were to be present to check their actions and to punish the guilty.‘°* A few months later Roger Mortimer had been made ‘chief and superior keeper of the peace’ in the counties of Hereford, Stafford and Worcester; magnates, knights and officials were commanded to assist him.*°* Other devices were tried which are difficult to classify. Thus, “Thomas

de Berkeley, one of the chief keepers of the peace in Gloucestershire, was given authority under dates of 15 July and 1 August 1327 to arrest men indicted before himself and his colleagues, and before himself, respectively.*°* An emergency at the abbey of Abingdon in 1328 resulted in a mandate of 1 March to Stonor and four others to determine the indictments brought before the Berkshire keepers.’°* In Essex on 4 December 1330 Weston, Dyn, and Gobion, acting under a commission of 22 October of the form of May 1329, were afforced by Robert de Gede-

worth, a lawyer, and specifically given powers of determining, un-

100 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 573; C.R.R., No. 308, Rex m. 6. .

+ British Museum MS. Egerton 2811, f. 338 (Beds. Eyre), at the very end of reign

of Edw. II (Assize Roll, No. 26, m. 21). 10? C.R.R., No. 305, Rex m. 15; No. 306, Rex m. 4d.; No. 309, Rex m. 13; Ancient Petitions, 10202; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 353. 2°° C\P.R. 1327-1330, 90; a similar experiment was tried in Oxfordshire. *°¢ Tbid., 152; not the commission, but the mandate to the magnates etc. (erroneously summarized in the Calendar; cf. C.C.R. 1327-1330, 222, Salop for Staffs). Similar systems were tried in several other counties, e.g. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 154: Thomas de Berkeley the

younger and John Mautravers were to act in 7 counties (erroneously described in the Calendar as a commission of the peace). *°® Loc. cit. and pp. 156-157. 10° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 203; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 289; 1330-1334, 575. Cf. a similar supervision for abbey of St Edmunds, C.P.R. 1327-1330, 217.

206 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 doubtedly considered to have been taken away by the new statute.*°" Three years later because of the supposed ineffectiveness of the five Wilt-

shire keepers of the peace, a commission of three, including two of the five, were appointed to determine the Wiltshire indictments.*°* The statutory provision of 1344 was evidently anticipated several times.

As is natural, the justices with extraordinary authority, of oyer and terminer or of trailbaston, were sometimes ordered to determine indictments brought before the keepers; or they were appointed for the specific purpose of determining such indictments in certain counties.*°? But clearly such justices could not, without special instructions, remove indictments from sessions of the peace. Their rolls, analyzed in the preceding section,

contain no actual indictments before the keepers of the peace, although there is mention of such indictments, especially in cases of conflict of jurisdiction.**°

The bulky eyre rolls contain surprisingly few references to the keep-

ers: several indictments before the Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Nottinghamshire keepers, temp. Edward If and Edward III; escapes of prisoners indicted in the Northamptonshire sessions of the peace;**’ for Derbyshire, nothing. The evidence of the great eyre of Kent is thus confirmed, that the justices in eyre dealt only with cases from the sessions of the peace that had resulted in the imprisonment of the indicted, but did not call for their undetermined indictments.

The relation of the justices of gaol delivery to the keepers of the peace are complicated. From 1327 to May 1329 the keepers were expected to send their indictments to the justices of gaol delivery; from May 1329 to the autumn of 1330 they were allowed to determine their own indictments

and thus to deliver their own prisoners; from the autumn of 1330 to February 1332 they were commanded by statute to send their indictments to the justices of gaol delivery—in theory, if not in practice, the justices

of assize; from February 1332 for a month (too short a period to be significant) they were again allowed to ‘determine’; from March 1332 the statute of 1330, in spite of some doubts, was probably supposed to

force them to send their indictments to the justices of gaol delivery. These rapid changes are reflected in changes in the form of goal delivery commissions.*’* A few examples will show the variety: 1 Edw. III, a clause 097 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 57, 58. Cf. similar action in Suffolk, zbid., 63.

108 Ibid. 500. 190 Ibid., 458. 29 Eg. Assize Roll, No. 390 (Kent) m. 2. “1 Fg. Assize Rolls, No. 24, m. 22; No. 26, m. 21; No. 632, m. 89d; No. 683, m. 77;

No. 632, m. 4d.

; 112 Recorded in brief abstracts on the dorse of the Patent Rolls (omitted from the Calendar), and in full on Gaol Delivery Rolls.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 207 specifies delivery of all prisoners, including those indicted before keepers

of the peace;’1* 2 Edw. III, either the same clause appears or there is no reference to keepers of the peace, or a clause specifies delivery of all prisoners except rebels and those indicted before justices of oyer and terminer;''* 3 Edw. III, delivery is to be of all prisoners, including those indicted before keepers of the peace and except rebels and those indicted before justices of oyer and terminer, or except those indicted before keepers of the peace,’?® and numerous variations according to the form of com-

mission of the peace in a given county; 4 Edw. III, delivery is to be of all prisoners either ‘except’ or ‘including’ those indicted before keepers of the peace, and always except rebels and those indicted before

justices of oyer and terminer;**® 5 Edw. III, delivery is to be of all prisoners except rebels and those indicted before justices of oyer and terminer, and including those indicted before keepers of the peace;'™ 6 Edw. III, delivery is to be of all prisoners except rebels and those indicted before justices of oyer and terminer, or before keepers of counties,’"® and no reference to keepers of the peace. Certainly a prisoner must have been very uncertain, when a general gaol delivery was announced, as to whether he was to be delivered, unless he had secured that mysterious writ de bono et malo. The gaol delivery rolls apparently contain indictments from sessions

of the peace in only twelve counties, mainly for the early years of the decade, in spite of the mandatory statute of 1330." But the meagerness of this showing is not conclusive; many rolls are missing and the surviving rolls often fail to indicate the jurisdiction from which the indictments had come. Accurate results can be obtained only by a more intensive study of gaol delivery than I have made. Far more important than gaol delivery rolls for evidence concerning the work of the keepers are the rolls of the court of king’s bench. A brief account of its activities is therefore essential.

The king’s bench as a superior eyre The significance of the king’s bench in the repression of crime and the **° Patent Roll, pt. 1, m. 38 d. **4 Tbid., pt. 1, m. 38 d.; pt. 2, m. 29 d. *° [bid., pt. 1, mm. 37 d., 38 d.; pt. 2, m. 22 d. 28 Ibid., pt. 1, mm. 50 d., 38 d. 111 Ibid, pt. 1, mm. 35 d., 12 d, 8 d.

48 Ibid., pt. 1, m. 31 d.; pt. 2, m. 15 d.

°G.D.R., No. 7a, Cambs, m. 3; No. 24, Hunts, m. 3; No. 28, Kent, m. 10; No. 43, Herts, m. 9, Beds, m. 35; No. 120, Dorset, m. 14 d.; No. 121, Oxon, m. 9; No. 122, Glouc, m. 3, Staffs, m. 11, Worc. m. 12, No. 123, Surrey, m. 3; No. 126, Essex, m. 17.

208 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 maintenance of peace is bound up with the fact that it was itinerant from shire to shire and from place to place within a shire. As a court of first

instance it heard and determined presentments of hundred jurors and acted on appeals of felony and on suits of trespass initiated by writ or by bill. It also delivered gaols of all prisoners and had power to remove cases from courts of inferior jurisdiction, including of course sessions of the peace.**°

During the forty terms between 1327 and 1336 it sat sixteen times at York, fourteen at Westminster, six at Lincoln, and once or twice each at a number of places, for example, Banbury, Warwick, and Northampton, going as far afield as Wigan.1?* With the virtual transfer of the capital to York, it was inevitable that the court should follow king and parliament, together with the common pleas and the exchequer;*** but it 1s not easy to

explain its presence at places like Maidenhead or Blyth. It is therefore of interest to find bits of evidence for a concerted plan framed by Scrope, probably approved by Mortimer and others in control, to use the court as a ‘superior eyre,’ to paraphrase the well-known dictum. Thus, the statute of Northampton, in providing for justices of trailbaston, associates the king’s bench with them as having co-ordinate duties. After the enrolment

of the resulting commissions of May 1328 Scrope and his colleagues received instructions that gave them identical powers with the trailbaston justices in whatever counties the king’s bench should be;’**? by December they were bidden join the king at Leicester in Hilary term, with the rolls, writs, and all other things touching the king’s place (placeam); *** and

according to the statute of Edward I,’*° follow the king, holding the court in places through which he shall chance to pass. But the rolls prove that the court sat in Hilary term, not at Leicester, but at Bedford, St. Albans, Maidenhead and Westminster. A similar mandate, dated at Nottingham 18 September 1330, ordered the court to sit at Newark in Michaelmas term and similarly was not carried out, perhaps because of the eyre in Nottinghamshire.’#® While the court was at Banbury for Easter

and Trinity terms 1330, its rolls contain writs addressed in trailbaston phraseology to its justices, commanding them to investigate marauders in #29For this whole subject, see my Proceedings, Sec. V of the Introduction. *22 And at other places; see Table in my Proceedings, 29-33.

122-There were petitions against the removal of these last two, not as Foss stated ages, III, 337) against that of the king’s bench: C.C.R. 1327-1330, 165, 324-325; Rot. Parl., "138 CPR, 1327-1330, 297. 124 C.C.R, 1327-1330, 424.

138 Articuli super Cartas, c. 5.

’ 120 CCR. 1330-1333, 155.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 209

Oxfordshire, mot one of the four eyre counties.’*’ Although a complete explanation of the choice of place must be left to a study of the court, even a cursory survey for the years 1327-1422 has shown that it soon lost Its association with the king and is by no means always to be connected with meetings of parliament.

Apart from Middlesex presentments before the court at Westminster, jurors’ presentments were important only when the court was sitting in a ‘foreign’ county. Then, as in the Oxfordshire sessions just cited, they were exceedingly numerous and precisely like those made in other criminal courts. One illustration will serve. Preserved among Ancient Indictments are twenty membranes numbered consecutively and stitched together at the top.’*® They contain presentments of felonies and trespasses made by Northamptonshire hundred juries before Scrope and his fellows, also an interesting petition in French to Scrope, ‘justice of the king.’ So identical in detail are the proceedings to those before various types of commissioners

that only after a fruitless search for a commission did I turn to the Rex Rolls of the king’s bench for Trinity term 1336 when it sat both at Northampton and at Nottingham. The identification of the cases proved that the presentments had been made coram rege as part of the work of the king’s bench.’*® In other words, Scrope was using the highest common law criminal court in such a fashion that it must have been a formidable competitor of itinerant justices of all kinds, certainly of the keepers of the peace.'*°

The methods of control of proceedings of lower courts were undoubtedly much the same as they were a little later under Chief Justice Shareshull. When the king’s bench moved into a ‘foreign’ county it summoned seneschals and coroners to appear with their rolls and memoranda, and it delivered neighboring gaols; it also issued general writs to crownappointed justices calling for their undetermined indictments. By 1333 it had begun to request indictments from justices in counties other than that in which it was sitting. It was natural that so inconvenient a request should have aroused opposition and that the local gaol deliveries should have been

preferred.*** The essential point is, of course, the relation of the king’s bench to the courts and officials of the county in which it was itself acting. It is difficult to believe that in this period, transitional and uncertain as it

was for the keepers of the peace, general writs were automatically sent them. Had such a procedure been common, at least a few bage of their 127 C.R.R., No. 281, m. 95; Rex m. 10. 7° K.B. 9/90 (26 mm. according to modern numbering).

1° Ibid.. m. 7(vi); C.R.R., No. 305, Rex m. 7. **° Dr. Sayles has found most interesting evidence that as early as 16 Edw. I, the court was inquiring into a long list of articles: C.R.R., No. 251, m. 30. 191 Rot. Parl. Inediti, 225.

210 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 files must have survived, as have other local records.132 The more usual

method was to remove coram rege by writ of certiorari or terminari a given indictment from the sessions of the peace, or the tenor of an indictment."** It is also true that gaol delivery by the king’s bench frequently dealt with prisoners who had been indicted in the sessions of the peace. The area included by such indictments covers twenty-two counties, nine of the twelve found on gaol delivery rolls and thirteen others. But since excluding the three northern counties and the palatinates, there is evidence, from other material, for sessions of the peace in four more counties, twenty-nine in all, it is clear that the area represented depends more on the itinerary of the king’s bench than on the activities of the keepers.1#4 In the absence of full peace rolls, however, and of adequate entries on the ordinary gaol delivery rolls, these indictments in the king’s bench merit careful study. The offences will be discussed later; here the form of the indictments and conflicts of jurisdiction must be considered. Indictments were held invalid on various grounds: they were insufficient, too vague, or for the wrong county; they gave no names of jurors; they failed to specify day, year, and place or were false. They were often returned for corrections instead of merely being quashed as they would have been in later times.’*° In one instance when the keepers were unable to make corrections because they had kept no copy, they were told to hold

another inquest, with new jurors in the place of any who had died.'*° Examples of conflicting jurisdiction are inevitable, such as previous acquit-

tal at gaol delivery, indictment for the same offence before sheriff and coroners, in the sheriff’s tourn, or before the king’s bench.**" In one instance, a clerk had been indicted for felony before the Essex keepers under

an ‘afforced’ commission, and process against him continued until outlawry; his heirs claimed that the outlawry should be annulled because as a clerk he had been at the time in the prison of the bishop of London, and convicted at gaol delivery of the same felony and had died in prison."*§ Again, a man indicted before the West Riding keepers of the peace and +8? Evidently a general writ was sent in 1333. See B. H. Putnam, Proceedings, pp. Ixiv

“ 188 Tn contrast to later usage, certiorari was more common. I have not noted a writ of error for this decade. +4 Ts it a mere accident that the counties of Leicester, Southampton, Sussex, and Warwick are not included? 186 C R.R., No. 270, Rex m. 2d; C.R.R., No. 281, Rex m. 19; C.R.R., No. 278, Rex m. 27 d; CR.R., No. 276, Rex mm. 25, 15 d.; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 525-526; C.R.R., No. 271, Rex m. 7. Corrected and uncorrected forms are both given. 89°C R.R., No. 277, Rex m. 8d. 97 Thid., No. 271, Rex m. 13; No. 277, Rex m. 8; No. 278, Rex m. 12; No. 306, Rex m. 31.

‘ 188 Ibid.. No. 305, Rex m. 19.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 211 previously indicted before the sheriff, had been adjudged ad dietam by the justices of gaol delivery and had died.**°

Only a statistical analysis of many Coram Rege Rolls will show the relative proportion between the number of cases removed from various jurisdictions. My impression is that the preponderance of indictments from

justices of trailbaston and from keepers of counties is far greater than from the keepers of the peace. The distribution is very uneven for the decade. The number from sessions of the peace is greatest for the first four years, then shrinks notably, perhaps because of the opposition expressed

in the Hilary parliament of 1333. The Rex Roll of Trinity term of that year contains about forty cases from crown-appointed commissioners, only one of which comes from the keepers of the peace.**° In the last two

terms of 1336 and the first two of 1337, the number is larger again, but only if one includes the anomalous commissions of 1335. For the next few years, even such cases disappear.

From this brief account certain conclusions may be drawn. Not only | was the king’s bench a serious competitor of all other criminal courts, but | it was also, in the county where it sat, their most effective supervisor. Further, its rolls afford the most valuable information thus far discovered on the work of these early keepers of the peace and confirm the evidence already presented, proving that for the latter part of the decade they were relatively unimportant.

Essential differences between conrmissions of the peace and other commissions for keeping the peace In spite of some duplication of material previously presented, these differences will be discussed under area of jurisdiction, personnel, and

judicial competence. , Area of jurisdiction

A commission of the peace was usually appointed to act within one county only; a few exceptions were for neighboring counties like Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Normally an individual was not assigned to a commission in more than one county, in marked contrast to the prevailing system for many of the competitors of the keepers of the peace. For example, a group of four trailbaston justices of 1328 were to act in six counties, Kent, Surrey, Essex, Sussex, Hertford and Suffolk; a group of five justices of oyer and terminer of 1332, in fourteen. But it is noteworthy 19° Ibid. No. 307, Rex m. 18d. 4° ITbid.. No. 293, Rex m. 6.

212 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 that after a variety of experiments the full lists of commissions on suspects

at the very end of the decade reverted to the method adopted for the commissions of the peace; apparently the larger area had not proved a success. In later centuries a compromise system developed whereby the permanently active members of a commission were assigned to a given shire, a great magnate or government official to every shire in the realm.*** Personnel

For a complete understanding of the work of the keepers, or of the justices of the peace, nothing is more important than a thorough investigation of the individual members of the commissions, their social and political backgrounds and connections, the posts that they had held or were holding. Elsewhere, for a little later period, I have made a tentative attempt at such a study;’*? here limitations of space allow merely the briefest comparison of various commissions. The keepers of the peace during this decade were mainly of the gentry

class predominant on the Tudor commissions,*** but occasionally also there was an individual of a particularly distinguished local family, like Thomas de Berkeley in Gloucestershire, or a judge like Stonor.*** In con-

trast, the justices of trailbaston included in addition to gentry a larger proportion of magnates and lawyers; a few illustrations must suffice. In Berkshire, Robert Dachard, Thomas de Coudray, and John Brounz were appointed frequently on commissions of the peace, Stonor and Geoffrey Scrope, on commissions of oyer and terminer;'*® in Suffolk, John de Whel-

netham and John de Tendryng; in Norfolk, Roger de Kerdeston, Constantine Mortimer and John Claver, on commissions of the peace, Stonor and Cantebrigge, sometimes Shardelow (also a judge) on commissions of oyer and terminer in both counties;'*° in Lincolnshire (Holland), John de Multon, Humphrey de Littelbury, John de Kyrketon and Alexander de Cobeldyk, on commission of the peace; and William de Ros, Richard de Grey, Stonor and Cantebrigge on commission of trailbaston in Lincolnshire as a whole.’*7 It is significant that the commissions on suspects, as in the matter of area, resembled the commissions of the peace and contained ‘4B. H. Putnam, Proceedings, pp. |xxxii-iii; ‘Justices of the Peace from 1558 to 1688, Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, 1V (1926-1927), 148. 4° Proceedings, under Addenda to each roll. *** Professor Tout’s belief (Chapters, Ul, 51) of a ‘substantial difference between the Edwardian justices of the peace and their Tudor successors’ is due to failure to distinguish between various types of commissions. 44C.P.R. 1327-1330, 89; 1330-1334, 288. 145 CPLR. 1327-1330, 429; 1334-1338, 357; 1330-1334, 138. 145 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 89; 1330-1334, 136. 47 C.P.R, 1327-1330, 290, 297.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 213

a large proportion of local gentry—further proof that this new type of commission was designed to take the place of the commissions of the peace, at a time when the latter had almost disappeared. Judicial competence Under the inquiry clause of their commission, the keepers of the peace were empowered to hear presentments of felony and trespass, as were all criminal law justices. On the evidence of the Gaol Delivery and Coram Rege Rolls the felonies were the usual ones: arson, homicide, robbery, theft, burglary, church-breaking, grange-breaking, house-breaking, receipt of felons,’** revealing the counsel of the king.’*® Charters of pardon are recorded for homicide in self-defence, also for fighting in Scotland; in one

case of homicide the accused plead that they were chasing a notorious robber with the constables and the four vills; in one instance of theft, the goods were estimated by the jury at 9 d., instead of 18 d., thus involving

petty, not grand, larceny.’°° An indictment for what certainly constituted treason—an attempt to rescue Edward II from Berkeley castle and to make war against his son—was brought before Thomas de Berkeley, a keeper of the peace sitting alone, and was quashed in the king’s bench.**? In contrast to the similarity in the character of the felonies dealt with by the keepers of the peace and by their rivals, there is a marked difference in the type of trespasses. In the sessions of the peace, as far as the meager evidence goes (the fines in the king’s bench often reveal no details), the

majority are assaults.*°* Their monotony is relieved by a few cases of forcible entry, by a charge against an abbot of hiring men at 3 d. a day for a two days’ siege of Dudley castle, by an accusation that a woman had

been put, naked, on a red-hot tripod and had been burned to the bone until she paid a fine.*°* The complete lack of economic offences is explained by the terms of the commission; but it is puzzling to find no refer8 C.R.R., No. 308, Rex m. 1 d. +49 Ibid., Rex m. 6. I have not noted a case of rape. 160 C R.R., No. 307, Rex m. 18 d.; No. 311, Rex m. 19 d; No. 307, Rex m. 7 d; No. 306, Rex m. 7. 181 Ibid., No. 270, Mich. 1 Edw. Ill, Rex m. 2 d.; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 89, 154, 156-157, C.C.R. 1327-1330, 158. Mr. Richardson has called my attention to a most interesting letter of 27 July 1327 (probably from Berkeley) to the chancellor containing the following

passage: gentz de ley me dient que la commission que jeo ay fundee sur Vestatut de Wyncestre ne mest mie garant de prendre nules gentz enditees par la cause susdie (ie. the attempt to rescue Edward II). The letter has been wrongly attributed to John Walwayn

by F. J. Tanquerey in Recueil de lettres anglo-frangaises, p. 127 and in E.H.R., xxxi

(1916), 119-120. This error has been copied by Professor Tout in his paper on “The Captivity and Death of Edward of Carnarvon,’ 152 CR.R., Nos. 277, 278, 280, 308.

3 C.CLR. 1327-1330, 125; C.R.R., No. 282, Rex m. 35; C.R.R., No. 281, Rex m. 20d.

214 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 ences to the keeping of watches in accordance with the statute of Winchester. In the sessions before the rivals of the keepers, the variety of trespasses is far greater: interesting economic offences, extortion, excesses, easily explained by the elaborate trailbaston list and also by the authority to inquire into offences of officials included in many of the commissions.

In fact, the vital difference between the offences within the competence of the keepers and the justices of the peace, and the other crown-appointed justices lies precisely in this matter of the misdeeds of officials.

Closely connected with the offences just named is the procedure at the suit of the party, the bringing of querelas or billas usually against officials but also against others. Almost all the commissions, other than those

of the peace, had the right to act on such suits in trespass, and also on similar suits in felony, that is to take appeals; but also to proceed by sworn

inquest at suit of the king. Of the commissions creating justices of the peace in contradistinction to keepers, only the shortlived one of 1329 allowed suits of the party. In the remaining commissions of the peace the keepers were merely empowered to inquire by sworn inquest at the king’s suit. The disadvantages under which they labored are obvious. Still more serious is their inability to determine their own indictments, except for the brief period so often mentioned. ‘The rolls of the Lancashire keepers of counties, or of the Norfolk justices of oyer and terminer, show

that shortly after the jurors’ presentments, many of the accused were imprisoned and promptly tried. By contrast, the uncertainty of supervision involved in the as yet inadequate system of gaol delivery and in the irreg-

ularity of the migrations of the king’s bench naturally weakened the motives for the speedy arrest of those who had been indicted in the sessions

of the peace, already duly warned and given ample chance of escape by the very fact of the indictment. The loss by the keepers of their power to arrest suspects reveals that weakness inherent in mediaeval criminal procedure, the outgrowth of a real antagonism between due process of law

as guaranteed by the Great Charter, and effective administration of justice,*°*

Finally, the rivals of the keepers had those important concomitants of

the power of determining, forfeitures of chattels from convictions of felony, and heavy money penalties from convictions for trespass, especially in the case of officials. The pecuniary results of eyres, of sessions of trailbaston, of oyer and terminer, of the king’s bench, were an essential source of income to the crown. The lack of financial profits in the sessions of the

peace, inseparably bound up with the absence of their right to determine , *°* Admuirably analyzed by the late Miss Clarke, “The Origin of Impeachment,’ reprinted in Fourteenth-Century Studies (1937), pp. 245-259. See also my ‘Keepers,’ pp. 32-33.

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 215

and with their inability to punish delinquent officials, was the weakest factor in their position. Without full peace rolls no statistics are possible either on the relative numbers of the various offences dealt with or on the proportion between the total number of presentments that found their way to the high courts and those actually made in the sessions of the peace. That the proportion

is very, very small all the evidence goes to prove, especially when one remembers that normally only those presentments would appear on Gaol Delivery or Coram Rege Rolls in which the indicted had actually been

taken prisoners or their outlawry noted.’** The statements in writs of certiorari that the accused are reported to be wandering at large, often in ‘foreign’ counties, serve to confirm the enormous difficulties of the apprehension of fugitives.*°° But there remains the crucial question of the fate of the indicted whose

cases actually came to issue. Without attempting statistics on convictions versus acquittals—a subject that belongs to the student of gaol delivery and the king’s bench—I can merely register my impression based on a hasty survey and on a few concrete examples. Convictions for trespass or confessions of guilt are fairly common, as proved by records of fines, convictions for felony seem so rare as to be almost sensational. For instance, when

the king’s bench delivered Oxford castle gaol of the dozen prisoners indicted for felony in sessions of the peace al] were acquitted.*°’ The results, as far as I have noted them, correspond very closely to those of the Kent sessions of the peace for 1316-1317. One may well ask of all the efforts for indictment, imprisonment, and trial, cuz bono? A summary of the relative effectiveness of the keepers of the peace and of other commissioners appointed to keep the peace shows that indisputably, except in the matter of the smaller area, the competitors of the keepers had solid advantages; often in the greater prestige of their personnel, especially when it included distinguished lawyers, almost always in

judicial competence and their resulting ability to secure the profits of jurisdiction. In fact, the organization and powers of the keepers of the peace seem singularly futile. Fully to explain the plight of the keepers during the decade, it is necessary once again to emphasize the point that under Edward II they had had

the right to arrest suspects and the advantage of systematic supervision. These two assets had served in part to counterbalance the limitations of

188 Thid.. No. 280, Rex m. 6 d. , *°° For exceptions, see C.R.R., No. 278, Rex m. 31 d. 87 Tbid., No. 281, Rex m. 20 d.

216 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 their judicial powers to inquiry by sworn inquest; but both assets were destroyed in the early years of Edward III. It is true that between 1327 and 1332 there were several attempts to increase their powers and to develop a system of control, attempts that had some temporary measure of success. But the opposition to the development of the keepers, based, I think, on the opinion of judges and perhaps of some magnates, was strong enough to secure the appointment of rival commissions, usually endowed

with the very authority that the keepers lacked. During the first half of the decade the keepers functioned fairly steadily, although the greater part of the time in a subordinate position; during the last half, they very nearly disappeared, and their place was virtually taken by the non-typical commissions of 1335 and by the commissions of 1336 to arrest suspects. This disappearance has been partially obscured by the fact that the members of the commissions of 1335 are often described as keepers of the peace, although the statute of Winchester is not specified as within their jurisdiction. On the basis of the evidence presented in these pages, it may be argued that the inadequacy of the keepers of the peace (in the technical sense of the term) lay not in their failure to hold sessions and to take indictments, but in their lack of authority for final process on their indictments and, therefore, in the absence of effective cooperation on the part of sheriffs and other local officials. Looking back at the period from a twentieth century point of view, there seem to have been but two alternatives: to leave the keepers in much the position of the constables of the hundreds, and therefore eventually to dispense with them; or to add to

their powers the right to determine their own indictments, that is, to transform them into justices and therefore to make them permanent. When the question of methods of keeping the peace came up in the spring of 1338 on the eve of the French war, the choice of the second alternative opened a new era in the history of the keepers. From this brief study, it is apparent that lack of sources precludes the possibility of discovering just how much time a keeper of the peace gave to his duties during his term of office. It seems probable that the duties were light. Even during the first half of the decade they would have 1nvolved at most taking part in sessions of a few days each several times a year; putting some pressure on the sheriff and his subordinates, or perhaps going with the posse comitatus to arrest the indicted; occasionally trying to check breaches of the peace; and also seeing that records of the presentments were kept and were sent to the justices of gaol delivery or to king’s bench, as the case might be. But it is perhaps safer to say that there is not

, sufficient evidence for a judgment, except to note the contrast between a

Shire Officials: Keepers of the Peace and Justices of the Peace 217 man who was keeper of the peace, with no other appointment, and a man, for example, like Stonor who was not only sometimes on a commission of the peace but who had an almost incredible number of other duties. What is really more important is to know how, in general, the peace was kept. How safe was an ordinary person? If he were assaulted or killed what remedies would he or his relatives have and in what courts? How effective were the punishments? What proportion of criminals were ever

caught? What proportion were convicted? Who were the burglars, thieves, robbers and murderers? Who were the peace-breakers, the strikers,

wounders, barettors, the sleepers by day and wanderers by night? What was their political, social, and economic status? ‘The mere asking of such questions shows that for an administrative study, the methods of keeping the peace and of repressing crimes of violence need to be investigated as an organic whole, through a study of all the existing agencies concerned in the common purpose, especially through a study of the older officials, sheriffs and constables, and of the older institutions connected with private

jurisdiction. There is no vital distinction here between royal and communal courts on the one hand, and seignorial courts on the other. The delegated authority of the crown exercised in court leets and through the system of frankpledge is still important in relation to keeping the peace, in spite of the authority entrusted to crown-appointed officials, like the keepers or justices of the peace.



Mary Marcarer Taytor? Powers of the Justices ip the first decade of the reign of Edward III, the justices of assize,? although their powers had been enlarged since they were first appointed under Henry II, were still primarily occupied in holding the possessory assizes. Originally sent into the counties* to hear the verdicts of recognitors in the possessory assizes of novel disseisin and mort d’ancestor,* the justices of assize had been given a gradually increasing jurisdiction in the thirteenth

and early fourteenth centuries by the extension of the possessory actions to cover cases other than the actual disseisin of land. The assize of novel disseisin, at first an action brought to recover lands and tenements unjustly taken from their possessors, became applicable in the thirteenth century to servitudes, rights of pasture and of cropping,” estovers, corrodies and tolls.° In 1329, for example, John de Dorneby, a minor, arraigned an assize of novel disseisin against William, son of Gilbert de Wenyngton, Gilbert’s wife and Walter Talman, asserting that he had been unjustly disseised of his free tenement of one robe trimmed with fur cum pertinentis. In proof of his claim he produced a writing by Gilbert in which he had given him an annual rent of one robe at Christmas for faithful counsel to him.” Nor was actual disseisin necessary to entitle a possessor to an action of novel disseisin. The remedy was available to the man whose plough was driven off his land thereby preventing his ploughing, and to a lord threatened by his tenant when he wished to distrain for his rent.® As the possessory actions were extended, the prestige of the justices +I wish to express my gratitude to Yale University for making this study possible by granting me a Sterling Fellowship. ?For the evolution of the word Assisa see W. S. Holdsworth, A History of English Law, I (ed. 3, Boston, 1922), 275-76.

“Magna Carta, c. 18, provided that the possessory assizes should be taken in the counties in which the disputed lands lay. *In the reissue of Magna Carta in 1217, c. 15, the assize of darrein presentment was reserved for the upper courts; 25 Edward I, c. 13. ® Bracton, De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae, ed. G. E. Woodbine, IIT (New Haven, 1940), 25, f. 164b.

° Statutes of the Realm, 13 Edward I (Westm. II), c. 25. 7 Assize Roll, No. 427, m. 2.

®Year Books of the Reign of King Edward the First, Years XX and XXI, ed. and trans. A. J. Horwood, Rolls Series, London, 1866, I, 393, 407.

220 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of assize grew. The justices were popular with litigants because of the summary character of the possessory assizes and because their sessions, held in the counties, eliminated tedious and expensive journeys to Westminster. The central government favoured the justices of assize because they were, to a large extent, either justices in the central courts or at least professional

lawyers, who relieved the pressure of business in the central courts by dispensing in the several counties the same law they administered in similar actions in the courts of common pleas and of king’s bench.° In addition, the central government saw in the powers of the justices to hold the possessory

assizes (which were inherently hostile to the old feudal courts)*® and to compel attendance at their sessions,'* strong factors in weakening the feudal courts and in preventing the growth of a multiplicity of local courts dealing with pleas of land. The value of the justices of assize as a centralizing force in the admin-

istration of justice, and the convenience of employing justices on circuit for other purposes than the holding of the assizes, was recognized from

time to time by various enactments.’* The statute of Westminster II (1285) gave the justices authority to inquire into the failure of sheriffs to return writs and to award damages if it was ascertained that a sheriff had received a writ and failed to execute it.** The justices of assize rather than the keepers of the peace were intended to enforce the statute of Winchester (1285), and the statute of Northampton (1328) empowered the justices of assize to inquire concerning the defaults against the statute of Winchester, to punish the guilty, and to report to the king in his parliament.'* The statute De finibus (1299) authorized the justices of assize, when delivering gaols, to inquire if sheriffs or others had released by replevin prisoners not replevisable, or had offended in anything contrary to ° Cf. Stonor’s assertion in an assize of mort d’ancestor in the court of common pleas: ‘We hold assizes as justices assigned to take assizes, Y.B. 13-14 Edward III, Rolls Series, 2.

10T F. T. Pluckett, in his Concise History of English Law (Rochester, N. Y., 1929), p. 276, notes that the defendants in assizes were frequently lords, who, in novel disseisin, disseised their tenants, or, in mort d’ancestor, prevented the succession of the heirs of their deceased tenants. 2 The justices of assize could compel freeholders to swear against their will, a privilege denied the lords in their courts by the Provisions of Westminster (1259), c. 1, and by the statute of Marlborough (1267), c. 9. 2 These statutory powers were never incorporated into the commissions of assize. Cf. B. H. Putnam, Proceedings before the Justices of the Peace in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (London, 1938), pp. xxix-xxxii, for the incorporation of statutory powers in the commissions of the peace. 1213 Edward I, c. 39. “13 Edward I, c. 6, confirmed by 2 Edward III, c. 2; 2 Edward III, c. 6. But there is

no evidence that the justices of assize ever executed the statute of Winchester or reported in parliament (Putnam, “The Transformation of the Keepers into the Justices of the Peace,” Trans. Royal Hist. Soc., ser. 4, XII (1929), 23, 26-27.

The Justices of Assize 221 the statute of Westminster I,’° and to punish those found guilty.** The Articuli super cartas (1300) provided that the justices of assize take inquests without writ and do right to plaintiffs complaining of conspirators, false informers, and evil procurers of dozens, assizes, inquests and juries.*”

The statute De appelatis (1300) ordained that justices of assize, when delivering gaols, should deliver persons appealed by approvers and detained in prison, and, if the appealed persons were still at large, they should com-

mand the sheriff to take them and bring them to the gaols where they should answer the justices. If those appealed wished to put themselves on the country, the justices should then order the sheriff to cause an inquest of the county to come before them.*® In the first parliament of Ed-

ward III, in answer to a petition of the commons, it was accorded that the justices of assize have power to inquire, as well at the suit of the king as of others, of duress used by sheriffs and gaolers to force men to appeal other men falsely, and to hear and determine such complaints.’® In 1330 it was enacted that the justices inquire, as well at the suit of the king as at the suit of the party, of maintainers, bearers, conspirators, and those committing champerty ‘as well as the justices in eyre should do if they were in the same county.’*° But the statutory powers of the justices were, according to the rolls of their sessions, rarely exercised between 1327 and 1336. The business of their sessions consisted almost entirely in hearing the possessory assizes, and, despite the partiality shown to them in this period by Scrope,”* there was no indication that they would eventually exercise a wide jurisdiction in criminal as well as in civil actions. In fact, even their jurisdiction in the possessory assizes was sometimes temporarily in abeyance in the period 1327-1336 as a result of the activities of their competitors. The migratory character of the courts of common pleas and of king’s bench in the first decade of Edward IIIs reign caused many of the sessions of the justices of assize to be superseded, for, when the upper courts were sitting in a foreign county, they took the assizes.*? 183 Edward I, c. 15. 1897 Edward I, c. 3.

1728 Edward I, c. 10. 1828 Edward I, Statutuim de Appelatis. *® Rot. Parl., Il, 9, 12; Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 124. This petition is of particular interest in that it clearly shows the government was aware of the difference in the personnel of the commissions of assize and of gaol delivery. The commons requested the authority for the justices of gaol delivery. The response delegated it to the justices of assize. 204 Edward III, c. 11. ** Putnam, Proceedings, p. xviii. ** Sayles, Select Cases in the Court of King’s Bench, Selden Society, II, xliii-xliv; Historical Collections of Staffordshire, XIV (1893), 36-37, 54.

222 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 The most serious threat to the jurisdiction of the justices of assize was the general eyre. During an eyre in a given county the justices of assize did not hold their sessions.?* The comprehensive commission ad omnia

placita of the justices in eyre included the power to take not only all assizes,”* but also to take the assizes without the special patent required by the justices of assize.”° Moreover, when a disseisin occurred while an eyre was proceeding, the disseisee might complain by bill instead of by writ.?® And, while the eyres were finally abandoned in the early years of Edward III,?” they still constituted a real threat to the justices of assize from 1327

to 1336. The general eyre planned by Scrope in 1329-1330, although it was not as ‘general’ as he intended, was carried out in the counties of Nottingham, Derby, Bedford and Northampton.*® In 1334 the eyre of Kent

had been in progress several weeks before the king agreed to accept a thousand marks for its abandonment.”® So long as the proclamation of an eyre was a possibility, the jurisdiction of the justices of assize was likely to be eclipsed.

Records and Rolls The most important of the records for a study of the justices of assize 22,W.C. Bolland, The Eyre of Kent, Selden Society, I, xviii, note 2. A report of the Northamptonshire eyre of 1329-1330 describes a mandate to the sheriff to proclaim that all

assizes arraigned before the justices sent to take assizes of novel disseisin were to be taken before the justices in eyre (Egerton Ms. 2811, 243r). Another account of the

same eyre states, ‘E puis fit crye qe... nul courte sera tenu durant leyre forpris

pur apell et exigend’ (Harvard Ms. 3 ir 1). I am indebted to Miss B. H. Putnam for permission to use her transcripts of these reports. *4Pleas of juries and assizes formed one of the three divisions of the business of an eyre. The other two divisions were pleas of the crown and gaol delivery (Bolland, op. cit., I, xvil-xvill, 53). °5 Ibid., Ill, 63: Westcote. Even though we justices in eyre had no patent the justices have full power to hear all pleas; wherefore we need not show our patent.

Stonore. If there be a variance between the patent and the letters close I can abate the writ. Westcote. I have seen sixty assizes taken in eyre without a patent. Westcote consented, however, to produce the patent which recited that the assize had been arraigned before John de Frissingfield and William de Goldington. And from the report of the Northamptonshire eyre of 1329-1330, ‘Scrope dit si homme morust seisi durant leyre qil ne busoigne mye al heir de quere bref hors de la chaunc’ en presence dez justices de assise de novel disseisin ne de mort d@’ancestor’ (Harvard Ms. 3, fo. 11a). *° Bolland, The Eyre of Kent, Ill, 138. *7 An eyre was begun in London in 1341 but never completed (H. M. Cam, ‘Studies in the Hundred Rolls,’ Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History, V1, 80, 113). There are some brief proceedings recorded for a Kentish eyre in 1348, and the last reference to a commission for an eyre is for Kent in 1374 (Putnam, Proceedings, xlvi). *° H. M. Cam, “The General Eyres of 1329-30, E.H.R. XXXIX (1924), 241-52. *° Assize Roll, No. 389, m. 1; C.C.R. 1333-1337, 155; C.F.R. 1327-1337, 389, 414, 458. An eyre planned for the bishopric of Durham in November 1333 was superseded upon the payment of one thousand marks (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 138, 182; C.F.R. 1327-1337, 444).

The Justices of Assize 223 are the rolls, classified in the Public Record Office as Assize Rolls, contain-

ing the proceedings of the sessions of the justices.*° A total of sixty-one rolls for the period 1327-1336 has been preserved. ‘The actions heard by the justices of assize were to be enrolled by their clerks,** and different clerks used different methods in compiling the rolls.°? Sometimes the circuit of the justices can be followed by reading a single roll on which the sessions

were recorded chronologically.** In other cases, an entire roll might be devoted to the sessions held in a single county over a number of years.** Of the numerous clerks who must have been employed on the various circuits, the rolls for the ten years furnish clues to the identity of only one. William Langar was probably the clerk of John de Cantebrigge because two of the three rolls in which he is named are headed ‘Cantebrig.’ He received 13 s. 3 d. as dampna clericorum®® in Huntingdon in 1332,°° and one mark at Cambridge in the same year. Again in 1333 an assize roll informs us that

William Langar, clerk, sent the record of an assize, together with the original writ and panel, to the king’s bench.** _ The preservation of the rolls of the justices of assize was due after 1335 to a statutory provision requiring the justices to send all ‘their records and processes determined and put into execution to the exchequer at Michaelmas every year’ in order that the treasurer and chamberlains might keep them in the treasury.** Prior to 1335, although there may have been some basis for Fitzherbert’s statement that it was customary when a commission

of assize was issued to new justices for the old ones to deliver to them their records of assize by indenture upon a writ directed to them to deliver those records,®® the weight of evidence suggests that this was not usual

and that the statute of 1335 was no more than an enactment regulating ‘°But not all the rolls in this classification are rolls of the justices assigned to take the possessory assizes. See B. H. Putnam, ‘The Ancient Indictments in the Public Record

Office” E.H.R.. XXXIX (1929), 479-505. : 51.13 Edward I, c. 30.

‘The justices apparently had their own clerks with them on circuit, and the clerks

worked under their direction. See, Y.B. 11-12 Edward III, Rolls Series, 609; Y.B. 18 Edavard Ill, Rolls Series, lxv-lxvi, 328; and C.C.R. 1327-1330, 409.

38 Fg. Assize Rolls, Nos. 1403, 1404, 1408. $4 F.g., Assize Rolls, No. 601 for Norfolk, No. 811 for Staffs, No. 856 for Suffolk. °° The dampna clericorum were those portions of the damages awarded to the clerks out of all damages over five marks recovered in the common pleas, king’s bench, or ex-

chequer (Jacobs, Law Dictionary, sub heading, “damage cleer’). In the sessions of the justices of assize, dampna clericorum were awarded to the clerks when the damages were under five marks. The share of the clerks is: usually recorded on the assize rolls, but, unlike the share in the central courts, there was no fixed proportion. The assize rolls usually give the amount of the damages which were awarded to the crier and to the marshall. °° Dampna xitjs, 7 d. Totum clerico soluit Willelmo Langar, clerico: Assize Roll No. 355, m. 2d.

‘* Assize Roll, No. 99, m. 1d; No. 73, m. 1d.

*89 Edward III, st. 1, c. 5. ** The New Natura Breuium, ed. 1687, p. 394.

224 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 customary procedure.*® In 1320 the executors of twelve justices were ordered to send to the exchequer all the rolls of the twelve when they were justices of assize.** Again in 1325 letters close to all the sheriffs of England ordered them to cause proclamation to be made that all the justices of assize should send the estreats of their rolls to the exchequer and also ‘their rolls of all such things as have been finally determined before them to be delivered to the treasurer and chamberlains.’*? On 16 May 1331 John de Cantebrigge delivered by indenture to the treasurer and chamberlains, among other records, one file of rolls of juries, assizes and pleas,*?

and on 6 November 1335 a letter close commanded the treasurer and

chamberlains to search his rolls for the record of an assize of mort d’ancestor and to send the record and process into chancery under the seal of the

exchequer.** On the other hand, it is not unlikely that the bag delivered into chancery on 29 May 1329 by the executors of John de Mutford contained records of assizes as well as other records of Mutford as a justice of common pleas. The same bag sub pede sigilli regis was sent to William Herle ‘to do therein what ought to be done according to law and custom.’*° Since no records survive for the sessions held in the eastern counties when Mutford was a justice of assize on that circuit, it may perhaps be inferred

that Herle did not believe custom required him to send those records to the exchequer. It is possible, too, that many of the records were stored elsewhere to make room in the treasury, and that some of the rolls for the period 1327-1336 shared a fate similar to that of the assize rolls in the Temple, which were destroyed by the rebels in 1381.*°

Other sources of information for the sessions of the justices of assize are the records of the central courts, which exercised supervision over their activities,*7 and the year books, particularly the Liber Assisarum. Cases were frequently adjourned into the court of common pleas propter difficultatem,** because some of the witnesses lived outside the county in which the assize was arraigned,*? or because a writing offered as evidence “° Cf. Sayles, Select Cases in the Court of King’s Bench, I, cxvi. 40C.C.R. 1318-1320, 240. “2 Ibid. 1323-1327, 341. *8 Antient Kalendars and Inventories of the Treasury of the Exchequer, ed. Francis Palgrave (London, 1836), HI, 157-158. “4 Assize Roll, No. 856, m. 5d. *° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 545. *°C.P.R. 1381-1385, 394.

*’ On the supervision of the king’s bench, see Sayles, op. cit., If, 1-1.

*°25 Edward I (Confirmation of Charters), c. 12; Y.B. 9 Edward II, Selden Society, 37ff., 59ff. The Cambridge University Library manuscript of Britton contains the note: ‘Difficulty of judgement is a shameful reason for delay: because the king, who ought to govern the people by law, ought not to be ignorant of it: nor his justices, unless it be in some outrageous and perplexed case then common counsel is better than private haste’: Britton, ed. Nichols, I, 313, n. 1. *” Assize Roll, No. 688, m. 3, Y.B. 3 Edward II, Selden Society, 45.

The Justices of Assize 225 of a claim was dated outside that county.°° Cases might be sent into the king’s bench by writs of error or of certiorari,°! and an enrolment of a case before the justices of assize in 1332 included the writ of error by which the case was removed to the upper court.°? Occasionally records of assizes were sent into chancery by writ of certiorari.°* ‘The chancery rolls also provide information of proceedings before the justices. ‘The close roll of 1330, for example, records the reversal of a judgment given in an assize of novel disseisin before Bousser and his colleagues as a result of a petition

before the king and his council in parliament.°* The rolls of parliament contain petitions requesting the king and his council to remedy errors before the justices of assize.°° Commissions and Qualifications of the Justices of Assize The Commissions

The justices of assize were authorized to hold their sessions by two types of commissions—special and general.°* The general commission in the

early years of Edward III never varied in form in spite of the additional powers granted to the justices by statute.°’ It commanded two or three

5° Assize Rolls, Nos. 99, m. 10; 688, m. 3.

51 Sayles, op. cit., Il, xliii-xlvii; Historical Collections of Staffordshire, XI (1890), 51, and XIV (1893), 54. 52 Assize Roll, No. 73, m. 1d. 53 Assize Roll, No. 100, m. 10; No. 601, m. 11; No. 1413, m. 11; Hist. Coll. of Staffs, XI, 51.

© C.C.R. 1330-1333, 92-93. .

SEs, R.P. Hl, 77. A note on the Cambridge University Library manuscript of Britton adds that ‘.. . if the justices take cognizance of any plea without or beyond their warrant or otherwise, recovery may be had upon them by bill to the king’s parliament’: Britton, ed.

Nichols, I, 308, n. 1. _

°° Both the general and special commissions, or patents as the special commissions were called in the fourteenth century, were normally enrolled on the dorse of the patent rolls. The printed calendars of the patent rolls omit the commissions of assize, and it has been necessary to examine the enrolments on the manuscript patent rolls. A comparison of the commissions on the existing assize rolls with those on the patent rolls reveals that the chancery clerks occasionally neglected to enroll the commissions. For a complete list

of the general commissions for the period 1327-36, compiled both from the patent and assize rolls, see below, pp. 248-252. | ** The following example illustrates the form the general commission invariably assumed at this period: Dominus Rex mandavit Johanni de Shardelowe et Johanni Claver breve suuim patens in bec verba. Edwardus dei gratia Rex Anglie Dominus Hibernie et Dux Aquitanie dilectis et fidelibus suis Johanni de Shardelowe et Johanni Claver, salutent. Sciatis quod constituimmus Vos justitiarios nostros ad onznes assisas jurata et certificationes coram quibuscumgue justiciariis nostris per diversa brevia nostra in comtutatibus Norff Suff Cantebr’ Hunt’ Bed’ Buk’ arramiatas capiendas. Et ideo vobis mandamus quod ad certos dies et loca quos ad hos provideritis assisas jurata et certificationes predictas capiatis, facturi inde quod ad justitiam pertinet secundum legem et consuetudinem regni nostri, salvis nobis amerciamentis inde provenientibus. Mandavinius enint vicecomitibus nostris comitatuum predictorum quod ad certos dies et loca quos eis scire faciatis assisas jurata et certificationes predictas cum brevibus originalibus et omimibus alijs ea tangentibus coraim vobis venire faciant. In cuis rei testimoniunn ... (Assize Roll, No. 856, m. 1).

a 226 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336

justices to take all assizes, juries and certifications in specified counties,°®

| and to do justice according to the law and custom of the realm on the

days and at the places the justices should designate. Furthermore, the general commission called attention to the mandate sent to the sheriffs of the counties to have before the justices on the appointed days all assizes, juries

and certifications as well as the original writs and all other pertinent

material. The special commission was similar to the general commission in form,

but it appointed two or three justices to take only a single action or assize, and not all the assizes in a group of counties.°® In this commission the names

of the alleged disseisor and disseisee and the location of the lands and

tenements in dispute were given and this information must agree with that in the original writ to the sheriff.°° The special commission was issued to the plaintiff, who complained of a disseisin, upon payment of a fine, usually one mark, and he gave it to the justices of assize as their warrant to hear his action.®! Every assize was begun by the reading of the special com-

mission. °*

The additional authority given by special commissions to justices

58 In 1345, it was argued by Grene that ‘. . . when the justices of assize of one county hold plea in a county other than that for which their warrant is, even though the parties consent to it, whatsoever they do in a county other than that for which their warrant is is disseisin if the party be ousted... (Y.B. 18-19 Edward III, Rolls Series, 434-46). 5* A special commission read as follows:

Dominus Rex mandavit Johanni de Mutford, Roberto Banyard, et Simoni de Hedersete breve suum patens in hec verba ... Sciatis quod constituimus vos justiciarios nostros una cum hiis quos vobis associaverimus ad assisam nove disseisine capiendam quam Alanus Isonde de Gorleston arramiavit coram vobis per breve nostrunt originale contentum de tenementis in parva Jernenuth’, Gorliston, et Bradewelle juxta Hedon. Et ideo vobis mandamus quod ad certos diem et locum quos ad bos provideritis assisam illam capiatis, facturi inde quod ad justiciam pertinet secundum legem et consuetudinem regni nostri, salvis nobis amerciamentis inde provenientibus. Mandavimus enim vicecomiti nostro Suff’ quod ad certos diem et locum quos ei scire faciatis et assisam illam coram vobis venire faciat. In cuius rei testimoniunt ... (Assize Roll, No. 1393a, m. 19). °° A person whose patent, or special commission failed to agree with the original writ was liable to amercement and the dismissal of his suit (Assize Roll, No. 427, m. 1; Hist. Coll. of Staffs, XII, 42; Y.B. 20-21 Edward I, Rolls Series, 429). *' The special commission was used to begin a possessory action before the general commissions came into use at the close of the reign of Henry III (Encyclopedia of the Laws of England, 3rd ed. (London, 1938), 1, 634). °° Britton, ed. Nichols, I, 298-299, warns the plaintiff to ‘keep our letters patent [the special commission] by him until the day of the plea, and then he shall deliver them up to the justices to be their warrant, for without either a general or special warrant they cannot determine anything. Cf. Fleta, (ed. 1647) p. 226: ‘Item habere debet breve coram justitiariis nam sine breve cognoscendi non habebunt potestatem, ibid., p. 227: ‘Partibus autem in judicio comparentibus et audito brevi patente per quod judices cognitionem habeant aud jurisdictionem. The procedure in taking an assize is fully described in Bracton, Ill, 56 ff., and in Britton, [, 308 ff.

The Justices of Assize 227 already holding general commissions®* seems unnecessary, but the impor-

tance of the special commissions was frequently emphasized in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries,** and the loss of a special commission was

a great hardship for the plaintiff. Britton wrote that if when the parties are come to trial the plaintiff has not our letters patent for the trial of his suit, the justices have no power to hear or determine anything. And if the tenant enter nevertheless into his defence, and lose, he may still recover his former position, and whatsoever the justices shall do in such case shall be

held entirely null and void. But if the plaintiff has the patent, let it be immediately read in audience, and if any doubt arises thereon, the tenant may have on that account a dilatory exception to ward off the assize.®®

And whenever a case was adjourned to a later session before the justices of assize, the special commission was returned to the plaintiff and the entry was made on the assize rolls: Let it be known that the writ patent [the special commission] remains in the custody of the plaintiff and the original writ in the custody of the sheriff.°° The importance of the plaintiff’s possession of his special commission until the day of the plea was noted in the common pleas in 8 Edward I, when Burton, counsel in Attewelle v. Attewell, in reply to a doubt that a plea of novel disseisin had been arraigned when the defendant in that plea died, declared, The patent for the assize is enrolled in chancery, where the court can be certified whether a writ was hanging or not, if you want to deny it. °° Although the special commissions were sometimes sent to justices who did not have general commissions, from 1327 to 1337 it was usual for them to be sent to the justices already appointed to take all the assizes on the circuit in which the disputed lands lay. °* Forty-second Report of the Deputy Keeper, p. 474; Forty-third Report of the Deputy Keeper, p. 373; Y.B. 18 Edward Ill, Rolls Series, pp. lxiv-Ixv, 328. Fitzherbert, writing almost two centuries later, provides conflicting evidence of the necessity for the special

commission. In the New Natura Breuium, ed. 1687, pp. 394-395, he asserted that the justices assigned by a general commission had authority by the statute of Westminster II, c. 13, to take assizes of novel disseisin without the special commission, but it is difficult to see any warrant in the statute for this statement. In his Grand Abridgement, ed. 1577, I, 65, he quotes a case (29 Ass. p. 40) which supports his statement: ‘Assise vers J. et auters, fuit challenge pur ceo que les justices naver nul especial garrant de prendre lassise et non allocatur, car ils purra prendre lassise par lour garrant general a lous volunte quaunt ils voile etc. un assise sanz pluis ou touts.’ He also included two cases showing that the special commissions were still required in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The first case from Mich., 8 Rich. Il, (I, 73):‘Nota que fuit dit par touts les justices qe en assise st home nad son patent qe ils nount my power de tenir le ple etc. mes en assise de novel disseisin qe fuit ajourne a Westm’ devant Skipw. pur difficulte par assent de Belk. et touts les justices le plaintif aver jour de aver sa patent lend de les almes” The second case from Easter, 33 H. VI (I, 77d): ‘En assise le patent serra en gard le plaintif mes quant le recognition serra enquise, il delivera son patent al clerk dassise car auterment

nad garrant etc. ° Britton, 1, 308.

*° E.g., Assize Roll, No. 99, m. 9d; No. 355, mm. 2, 2d, 3, 4, 5; No. 601, m. 11. Cf. Britton, II, 86.

228 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Bereford, C. J. answered, If he had his patent in his hand and we saw from the patent that the assize had been summoned as he saith . .. you would get swift answer to your nonage 67

Once judgment in a case had been given, the patent or special commission was no longer of importance to the plaintiff, and he surrendered it to the justices. In 1337, for example, a man was adjudged a disseisor and was unwilling to accept the verdict. He petitioned the king and his council and thereupon a writ of certiorari to Shardelow ordered the record and process, the writ of certiorari, the panel and the original and patent writs sent into chancery.°®

That justices assigned to circuits by general commissions needed a special commission for every assize brought within their circuits may best

be explained by the financial gains which accrued to the exchequer by requiring each plaintiff to sue out a patent or special commission in chancery.®? The duplication of authority resulting from the special commissions was obviously unnecessary, and eventually the chancery clerks simply discontinued the laborious practice of copying them. After 1349 it is rare to find a special commission enrolled on the patent rolls. Already in the decade 1327-1336 the clerks were treating them carelessly and they enrolled many fewer special commissions than they had enrolled, for in-

stance, in 1 Edward I when two to three thousand special commissions were enrolled on the patent roll.7° In 3 Edward III there were only about one hundred and fifty enrolled.”* In 7 Edward III the number rose to more than three hundred and fifty, while in the following year it exceeded three

hundred and eighty. But the failure of the clerks to enroll them was not indicative of decreased importance. Special commissions were still required

in 1371 when a commons’ petition declared that people were greatly grieved by the necessity of paying for two writs of assize. The commons prayed that in the future the patent be dispensed with and that the commission [general] to the justices be sufficient for the taking of all assizes.™ °TY.B., 8 Edward Il, Selden Society, 201. °° Assize Roll, No. 601, m. 11.

°° Sir Matthew Hale, evidently seeking an explanation for the use of the two commissions, explained in The Natura Breuium, ed. 1755, p. 411, note b, ‘A general patent is sufficient for all assizes arraigned before the patent, but for those arraigned after it there ought to be a special patent.’ The dates of the special commissions are seldom included in the enrolments, but so far as it has been possible to compare the dates of general and special commissions enrolled on both the patent and assize rolls, there is no evidence that this ingenious explanation was true in this period. 7° Forty-second Report of the Deputy Keeper, 473. 74In this year the decrease in the number of enrolments may have been due to the expectation of the general eyre as well as to the carelessness of the clerks.

, ™ Rot. Parl., Il, 307.

The Justices of Assize 229 The king, unwilling to relinquish what must have been a lucrative source of revenue, refused his assent. Again in 1377 the commons asked that no fine be taken for writs of assize, and once more the request was refused.”* Usually three justices of assize were assigned by both the general and special commissions. Perhaps it was possible for a single justice to receive essoins,“* but at least two of them had to take the assizes. Commissions

appointing three justices were frequently followed by writs of si non omnes to all three. These writs were orders for two of the justices named in the commissions to proceed even though the third one should be unable to be present. The writs were often copied on the assize rolls immediately

after the commission or sewn to one of the membranes of the rolls.”

Although writs of si 20n ommes were sometimes issued for a single action, a writ applicable to all the assizes on a circuit was considered sufficient when, as was usual at this time, the general and special commissions were issued to the same justices. When two of the justices acted by virtue of a writ of si non ommes, it was not essential that the same two justices should be present at later sessions."®

The general commissions commonly authorized the justices to take all the assizes in a group of counties, although they might be issued for a single county*’ or for two counties.”* The grouping of the counties coincided roughly with the familiar circuits of assize, and the outstanding variations were few.’? The northern circuit was frequently enlarged by the inclusion of the counties of Nottingham and Derby. ‘The northwestern circuit usually omitted Oxfordshire and Berkshire, which were sometimes 73 Ibid., IL, 370.

"The assize rolls for the decade provide one doubtful example. Henry de Hambury may have sat alone in Hereford on 27 Apr. 1332 to receive essoins (Assize Roll, No. 310,

m. 1).

78 Ee. Assize Roll, Nos. 98, mm. 1, 2; 356, m. 2; 1407, m. 4; Y.B., 16 Edward III, Rolls Series, 232.

7° Y.B., 14-15 Edward III, Rolls Series, 6-14, 66-68. It was also held that a record of assize was valid if it was made in the absence of the justice first named in the commission,

but when there were adjournments it was essential to validity that there should be one justice who had been present on each day. 7 E.g., 10 Jan. 1328 for Notts. (Rot. Pat., No. 168, m. 3d); 3 Feb. 1331 for Lincs. (/bid.,

No. 175, m. 36d.); 5 Sept. 1333 for Northumberland (Ibid., No. 182, m. 21d.); 8 Nov. 1333 for Middlesex (lbid., No. 182, m. 14d.); 6 Feb. 1334 for Kent (lbid., No. 182, m. 42d.). 8 F.g.. 1327 for Norfolk and Suffolk (/bid., No. 166, m. 31d.); 12 May 1328 and 1 May

1333 for Notts. and Derby (/bid., No. 169, m. 6d. and No. 181, m. 12d.). 7° Northern: Cumberland, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Yorkshire.

Midlands: Derby, Leicester, Lancashire, Northampton, Nottingham, Rutland,

Warwick. .

Eastern: Bedford, Buckingham, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Norfolk, Suffolk. Northwestern: Berkshire, Gloucester, Hereford, Oxford, Salop, Stafford, Worcester. Home: Essex, Hereford, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex. Southwestern: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Southampton.

230 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 added to the southwestern circuit and less frequently to the home circuit. The midland circuit, except for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, sometimes included the counties of Bedford and Buckingham. The general commissions of assize from 1327 to 1337 were issued at irregular intervals. ‘This irregularity may now appear greater than it actually was because of the failure of the clerks to include the dates of the commissions when enrolling them. In a few cases commissions for several circuits were issued on the same day. This happened in 1328 when commissions for the six circuits were dated 19 May, in 1330 when commissions

for all the counties were dated 19 December, and in 1331 when justices were assigned to all the circuits except the southwestern on 30 January.®° In the first two instances there are plausible explanations for the simultaneous issue of commissions for all the circuits. The commissions of 1328 were sent out one week after Burghersh became chancellor,®* and they were possibly issued as a result of the enactment of the statute of Northampton, which stated that the justices should have a knowledge of law.*? Similar circumstances surrounded the commissions of 1330, which were issued shortly after Stratford succeeded Burghersh,** and soon after the statute of 1330 designated the qualifications of the justices of assize.** Some attempt seems to have been made to assign justices to the circuits by general commissions at least once a year, but if new justices were not appointed, the justices named the previous year continued to act until their successors were named. Cantebrigge, Shardelow and Claver, appointed 20 March 1332 for the eastern circuit, were still holding sessions under this commission in 1334,°° while Inge, Trevaignon and Hampton, assigned

to the southwestern circuit in 1331, were still acting in 1335 without having any other general commission.®*® On the other hand, there might be two or three general commissions issued for a single circuit in one year,

as occurred in 1 Edward III for the northern circuit and in 2 Edward III for the northwestern and eastern circuits.8” In these cases there was a change in the personnel of each successive commission, and the frequency of the commissions, therefore, possibly resulted from either the inability

of the justices originally appointed to go on circuit or the desire of the central government to employ them elsewhere. There are other cases, 60 Rot. Pat., Nos. 169, m. 6d.; 174, mm. 17d., 38d., 37d. °° Foedera, II, 743 (12 May). 822 Edward III, c. 2.

8° Foedera, II, 800 (28 Nov.). 844 Edward III, c. 2. *5 Assize Roll, No. 355, mm. 4, 5. 8° Assize Roll, No. 1418.

' 87 Rot. Pat., Nos. 166, m. 37d.,; 167, m. 16d.; 168, m. 9d.; 169, mm. 35d., 6d.; 170, m. 19d.

The Justices of Assize 231 however, in which two commissions were issued to the same justices for the same circuit within a few weeks. John de Redenhale and Simon de Hedersete were assigned to the eastern circuit on 12 May 1330 and 24 May 1330.88

Although the justices might be shifted from circuit to circuit, it often happened that year after year the same men were assigned to the same circuits. Aston, Hambury, Hillary, and Shareshull were usually appointed to take the assizes in the northwestern circuit. William de Denum was several times commissioned to hold assizes in the northern circuit, and Trevaignon in the southwestern. Personnel of the Commiussions of Assize

The qualifications of the justices of assize had, by 1327, already been regulated by statute. The statute of Westminster II (1285) stipulated that two sworn justices be assigned to take the assizes of novel disseisin and mort d’ancestor, and they were to associate with themselves one or two of the ‘discreetest knights’ of the county in which they were sitting.*? The competence of the justices thus assigned had been criticized in the king’s bench in 1298 when it was said that they were ‘doubtful or ignorant of those things about which they should not be doubtful or ignorant.’?? In 1305, as Maitland has shown, only one of the eight justices appointed for the four circuits in which the country was then divided was a judge of the central courts.°’ Sheriffs and coroners had been disqualified from sitting on the circuits by a decision of the king’s council in 1317.°? Between 1327 and 1336 two statutes were passed concerning the qual-

ifications of the men to be assigned. In 1328 the statute of Northampton provided that assizes should be taken only before justices ‘commonly assigned,”? who should have a knowledge of law.°* For a short period there°° Ibid., No. 173, mm. 27d., 20 d. This may have been a clerical error in duplication, but, if so, it happened fairly often. Commissions were issued to Hambury, Hullary and Aston for the northwestern circuit on 30 Jan. and again on 18 Feb. 1331 (zbid., 175, m. 38; Assize Roll, No. 811, m. 3). Shareshull, Hillary and Peyton, Sr., were assigned to the same circuit on 18 Nov. 1334, 1 Jan. 1335 and 2 April 1335 (Rot. Pat., No. 184, m. 12d; Assize Roll, Nos. 1413a, m. 11; 1413, m. 10). On 6 and 26 June 1329 Willoughby and Louthe were assigned to the home counties (Rot. Pat., No. 171, mm. 14d., 12d.). On 4 Nov. 1332 Willoughby was appointed in the midlands with Henry de Fenton in place of Richard de Bankwell, who was said to be employed on the king’s service, but on the very next day Bankwell was associated with Wuloughby and Fenton (zbid., 180, m. 12d.). 6° 13 Edward I, c. 30. °° Sayles, Select Cases in the King’s Bench, Ul, xvii; Ill, 58. "* Maitland, Memoranda de Parliamento, p. xcix. "2 C.C.R. 1313-1318, 463.

°* L.e., justices holding a general commission.

"42 Edward Ill, c. 2.

232 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 after assizes alleged to have been arraigned contrary to the statute were ordered to be superseded.** But rigid enforcement of this statute did not last long, for in 1333 the commons petitioned that if any process were made before any special justices, whether the writ came to them from the chancery or under the privy seal, the process should be held null and void.°® ‘The second statute, 4 Edward III, c. 2 (1330), ordained that ‘good and discreet persons’ other than justices of the two benches, if they could be found sufficient, were to be assigned to take assizes, juries and certifications. This provision was reversed ten years later by a statutory requirement that none could act as a justice of assize except a justice of one bench or the other or a king’s serjeant sworn.®” There were no statutory restrictions concerning the places of residence

of the justices of assize in the early years of Edward III, and they frequently held assizes in the counties in which they lived or held lands. Later, the commons were to protest against this practice and in 1376 they petitioned that no justice be assigned in the county in which he lived unless other foreign justices were associated with him because the justices ‘have their lords, masters, cousins and allies, thus none of the poor can recover from them.’°* This complaint was not remedied by statute until 1384.°° From 1327 to 1336 a total of fifty-seven justices of assize were assigned to the various circuits.*°° Unlike the commissions of the peace for the same period, the commissions of assize did not include magnates, but were sent to professional lawyers and to members of the gentry, who were generally employed in various judicial, fiscal and administrative affairs in the coun-

ties. ‘Thirty-seven of the fifty-seven were closely connected with the central courts at Westminster. Of these, nineteen sat between 1327 and 1336 either in the court of king’s bench or in the court of common pleas."°? © Fig, C.C.R. 1327-1330, 587; ibid., 1330-1333, 542-543, 571. °° Rot. Parl. Inediti, p. 226. °7 14 Edward III, c. 16. In 1376 the commons petitioned that the chief justice of the king’s bench, before whom errors were reversible, should not be assigned to a circuit, and in 1384 they asked that the chief justices of both benches be excluded because otherwise they would hear errors from the sessions they held in the counties (Rot. Parl. II, 342, III, 200).

°8 Rot. Parl., Il, 334. °° Tbid., III, 200; 8 Richard II, c. 2. +0°'The following analysis deals only with those justices appointed to take assizes by the general commissions. It has been impossible to include the many men who were appointed once or twice by special commissions to take a single assize, for they were generally local men appointed to act with the justices assigned by general commissions, and little or nothing can be ascertained about their activities or positions in the counties. * K.B.: Banyard, Friskeney, Hambury, Louthe, Malberthorpe (C. J. and also Justice C.P.), Scrope (C. J., C. Bar., and also justice C.P.), Willoughby (C. J. and also justice C.P.) C.P.: Aldeburgh, Bacon (also justice K.B.), Bourchier, Cantebrigge, Herle (C. J.). Inge, Mutford, Shardelow, Shareshull (also justice K.B.), Stonor (C. J. and C. Bar.), Travers, Trevaignon.

The Justices of Assize 233 Hillary was chief justice of the common pleas in Ireland; two were barons

of the exchequer,’ six were to become justices of one of the benches within the next four or five years;*°? Sadington was appointed chief baron

of the exchequer in 1337;°* Ashley had been a serjeant in the reign of Edward II; Claver, John de Denum, Ingham, Touthby and Redenhale were pleading in the upper courts in the reign of Edward II and in the early years of Edward III; Ludington was appointed on 4 February 1327 to the custody of the rolls and writs of the common pleas, a post he appears to have held until his death sometime before 12 March 1336;'° and Herewynton, who had acted as keeper of the rolls of the common pleas from 1314 until 1322 and had had the custody of the treasurership of the exchequer in Ireland, was chancellor of the exchequer from 17 March 1327 until December 1331.1°° The remaining twenty justices of assize were drawn from that group of men who were more or less prominent in local government and they may have had some legal training, especially Ifeld, Middleton, and Thorpe, who were justices in the eyre of 1328-1330, and Aston, who was a justice in eyre in Pickering Forest in 1334.*°7 In common with the professional lawyers, they served frequently on commissions of the peace, of gaol delivery, of sewers, of oyer and terminer, of array, and of assessing and collecting taxes. The following table shows the total number of justices appointed in


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10 4 9 7 ** William de Denum and Scorburgh. *°* K.B.: Bankwell and Scott (C. J. and justice C.P.). C.P.: Heppescotes, Kelleshull, Parning (also justice K.B.), Wodestoke.

194 Foss, III, 485-87. .

105 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 17; ibid., 1334-38, 228. 108 Ibid., 1330-1334, 173.

7 CPLR. 1330-1334, 551.

234 Ihe English Government at Work, 1327-1336 each year from 1327 to 1336, the number who had already been serving as justices of assize prior to their appointment in a particular year, and the number employed in some capacity in the central courts in the regnal year in which they received their commissions of assize. The outstanding features of this year by year analysis of the commissions of 1327-1336 are the continuity of the personnel and the high percentage of justices in the central courts who were justices of assize. This suggests either that it was difficult to find the ‘good and discreet’ persons

other than justices from one of the benches as the statute of 1330 provided,*°® or that, as is more likely, it was the policy of the government, advised by Scrope,*°? to employ professional lawyers in all important judicial commissions.

Places and Dates of the Sessions The choice of places for the sessions of the justices of assize was restricted only by the provision of Magna Carta that assizes should be taken within the counties in which the tenements in dispute lay.11° Within the counties in which their commissions authorized them to act, the justices exercised discretion as to the villages and towns in which they would sit.1™ It was, of course, essential to find towns with sufficient accommodations,

and, in general, they sat most frequently in the county towns and larger boroughs.*?? In 1326 the complaints of the bailiffs of Norwich resulted in an order that from henceforth the justices of assize should hold their ses-

sions in ‘the Shirehouse in the fee of Norwich castle and nowhere else within the city.’**® It seems reasonable to suppose that when castles were

available they were used, but there is little evidence for this in the rolls of the justices. Once it was noted that in 1334 the sessions were held in the castle of Southampton.*** Once in London in 1335 the justices sat at the chapel of St Alban’s outside Ludgate.**® Another entry of an assize roll notes that at Earley, in Berkshire, on 10 October 1332 the justices sat at the marble cross, thus indicating that the session may have been held outdoors.'7® 1°84 Edward III, c. 2. °° Putnam, Proceedings, p. xlviii. 429 Magna Carta, c. 18, Bracton’s Note Book, III, 409 (no. 1478). #27 In 1376 the commons requested that the justices of assize sit in vils where gaols were located (Rot. Parl., H, 334). 2 There is little evidence in this period that the justices were sitting in the most inaccessible places in the counties as the commons complained in 1382. (Rot. Parl., Ill, 139). For a list of the towns in which they sat from 1327 to 1336 see below, pp. 252-257. 113 C.P.R. 1324-1327, 215; C.C.R. 1323-1327, 444, 445. 4 Assize Roll, No. 1416, m. 8.

. 118 Ihid., No. 1420, m. 1d.

4° Ibid.. No. 1409, m. 3.

The Justices of Assize 235 The frequency with which the justices held their sessions had been regulated by statute. The statute of Westminster I (1275) provided that, by the permission of the bishops, the assizes might be taken in Advent, Septuagesima and Lent.**” These periods required the dispensations of the

bishops because it was contrary to canon law that sessions be held in them.*’* Perhaps the bishops were unwilling to grant the necessary permissions because ten years later the statute of Westminster II ordained that the assizes should be held three times a year: between 8 July and 1 August,

between 14 September and 6 October, and between 6 January and 2 February.’?® The confirmation of the charters in 1297 provided that the assizes be taken only once a year.**° Now in 1330 it was enacted that the assizes be held at least three times a year but no specific periods were mentioned.’** Throughout the first decade of the reign of Edward III the justices were holding their sessions in the times forbidden by the canon law, probably because these times conflicted least with the terms of the cen-

tral courts in which so many of the justices of assize sat. The bishops’ licenses granting permission to take assizes in the forbidden periods are frequently enrolled on the assize rolls immediately after the general commissions and before the business of the sessions.’** If a bishop failed to send permission, the sessions were postponed.*”* The loss of the records of cases heard under approximately half of the commissions’** issued in the decade precludes any categorical conclusions

concerning the extent to which the justices conformed to the statutory regulations and the frequency with which they went on circuit. There were no petitions, such as that of the people of Northumberland in 1305, 1173 Edward I, c. 51; Pluckett, Statutes and Their Interpretation, p. 36. n. 4.

12° 13 Edward I, c. 30. . ™8 Britton, [, 345-46.

12095 Edward I, c. 12. 1214 Edward III, c. 2. 122 F.g., Assize Roll, Nos. 517, m. 5 (bishop of Lincoln, 1329); 99, m. 7d. (bishop of Ely, 1333); 1418, m. 4 (bishop of Salisbury, 1334); 1420, m. 7 (bishop of Chichester, 1334), and m. 4 (bishop of Winchester, 1334); 1420, m. 1 (Thomas, abbot of Westminster, for Middlesex, 1334), and m. 3 (Richard, abbot of St Alban’s, for the vill of St Alban’s, 1335. 128 Assize Roll; Nos. 600, mm. 4, 12; 356, m. 1. In 1333 an assize of novel disseisin was returnable in the common pleas at a day after the common day of the term, which was in Advent. Herle said he could not take an assize on a day after the common day without

other warrant, but after the bishop’s letter was shown the assize was taken on the next day (Liber Assisarum, p. 11). In the report of the eyre of Northamptonshire in 1329-1330 it was noted that Lez justices disoient gil ne voleient pas tenir lez plees de novel disseisin ne de mortdauncestre sanz conge de lez ordeinares deinz septuagesme ne deinz quaresme, (Harvard Ms. 3, fo. 11a). But neither the assize rolls nor the eyre reports furnish any such examples of exemptions from fines as that found in the common pleas when the jurors failed to appear, Set nichil de muisericordia quia infra tempus quadragesime (C.P. No. 40,

m. 284).

'*" For the assize rolls preserved from various commissions see below, pp. 248-252.

236 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 complaining that the justices did not come to take the assizes, and from the rolls available it appears that there were no grounds for such a grievance."*® ‘There are twenty-two instances in the existing rolls from the period 1327-1336 of sessions held in one county three times a year, but seven of these are in counties on the circuit of Bacon, Scott and Kelleshull in 1335,7*® and these justices may have been more energetic than their colleagues, or 1335 may have been an unusual year.’?’ There are, however, many examples of two sessions a year within a county. From the assize rolls which seem to contain the full sessions of a single commission for an entire year, it appears that the justices were not bound by regulations but simply went on circuit whenever they felt their services were needed. They are found holding assizes in almost every month, but the fact that so many of them were judges in the central courts necessarily limited their circuits to periods out of term. Assizes were held most often, according to the rolls, in the summer months between the law terms of Trinity and Michaelmas, and in the spring between the Hilary and Easter terms. An entry on an assize roll for the southwestern circuit in 1335 notes that sessions were held at Exeter in the ‘Autumn Session’ without further dating, which suggests a regular period for holding the assizes. Usually one day was sufficient for the assizes in a given place, although two days might sometimes be required. Occasionally the justices held

assizes in one town, moved on to another, and then returned to hold further assizes in the first. The number of days a year each justice sat cannot be ascertained because all the rolls of their sessions have not been

preserved and because they were not paid by the day but by the year. The stipend paid to each justice of assize in the reign of Edward III was £20 annually.??8 This sum was payable in two equal installments at the Easter and Michaelmas exchequer terms by warrant of writs of liberate.’”° The distances covered by the justices of assize on circuit were, in some cases, phenomenal. If the dating of the sessions is always correct, the justices frequently held sessions in two towns on the same day. Banyard and Hedersete sat at Bedford and Huntingdon, twenty miles apart, on 27 February 1329, and at Cambridge and Huntingdon, fifteen miles apart, 126 Maitland, Memoranda de Parliamento, p. 19. 126 Assize Roll, No. 1420. 127 Ibid. No. 1419, m. 1.

#28 The fee in the reign of Edward II was sometimes 20 marks instead of £20. Y.B. 8 Edward Il, Selden Society, xv; Bolland, The Eyre of Kent, Selden Society, III, xli. 12° F’.g., Liberate Rolls 106, m. 7; 107, mm. 2, 7; 109, m. 1; 110, m. 5; 111, mm. 2, 4; 112, mm. 3, 8. Robert Selyman and John de Hampton, in spite of writs of liberate, had difficulty in securing payment and made special requests that their fees might be allowed

‘ on their debts at the exchequer (C.C.R. 1330-33, 141, 435).

The Justices of Assize 237 on 3 March 1328. Annesley and Shareshull must have covered at least thirty miles between sessions to sit at Shrewsbury and Stafford on 11 September 1329. On 6 March 1335 Bacon and Scott held sessions at both St Alban’s and Guildford, approximately forty miles apart. Shareshull and Peyton traversed the same distance to hold their sessions in Campden and Ludlow on 7 April 1334. But it seems incredible that Bankwell and Fenton

could ride some seventy miles to hold sessions in both Lincoln and Northampton on 12 March 1328, and in this case the clerk may well have erred in dating the rolls. Friskeneye and Malberthorpe, however, were credited with holding sessions in the same two towns on 6 April 1328.12°

Justices of Assize on Circuit under other Commissions As Justices of Gaol Delivery

The convenience of employing the justices on circuit to take assizes for other judicial purposes is obvious. Additional jurisdiction was very early granted to the justices by statute, but from 1327 to 1336 there was a curious divergence between the legislation and the extent to which the justices of assize actually exercised the increased authority conferred upon them. In 1299 the statute De finibus had provided that the justices assigned

to the counties should deliver the gaols of those counties after they had taken the assizes.*** Now it was enacted in 13287*? and again in 1330** that the justices of gaol delivery should be the same persons as the justices of assize, a provision evidently intended to be kept, for imprisoned men were often bailed until the next assize.‘** A comparison of the personnel of the commissions of gaol delivery and of assize, however, shows that there must have been but little pretense on the part of the chancery to abide by the statutes.12> From 1327 to 1336 commissions of gaol delivery**® were *9° Assize Roll, Nos. 1402, mm. 2, 4, 6; 1403, mm. 12, 13; 1420, mm. 3, 12; 1413, mm. 37a, 93; 1408, mm. 17, 20; 1393b, mm. 16, 51.

18127 Edward I, c. 3. 1322 Edward III, c. 2. 18834 Edward III, c. 2. 184 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 434, 447, 450, 456 et passiz.

*86 Although in 1310 three justices had been assigned to hold assizes and deliver gaols in each of the seven circuits. (C.C.R. 1307-1313, 336, Y.B. 4 Edward II, Selden Society, 1x), this did not become customary, and there is no ground for the statement that ‘Since De finibus the justices of assize have had a commission which ordered them to

deliver the gaol of every prisoner in it at the time of their arrival in the circuit town, by whomever indicated and for whatever crime committed... (The Encyclopedia of

the Laws of England, 3rd, ed., I, 637). *°°’'The commissions of gaol delivery, like the commissions of assize, are enrolled on the dorse of the patent rolls and have not been included in the printed calendars.

238 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 frequently issued to persons other than the justices of assize.1°7 In the first year of Edward III one hundred and fifty-two commissions of gaol delivery were issued, and only six of these were sent exclusively to the three justices of assize on the circuit in which the gaols were located. Three of the commissions were for the delivery of Newgate prison and included the mayor of London as was customary at that time;*** fortyfive included one or two of the justices of assize on the corresponding circuit; and ninety-eight did not contain the name of a single justice of assize. The following table illustrates the extent to which the justices of assize were appointed justices of gaol delivery from 1327 to 1336. Thus,

No. of No.

commisstons commissions No. commissions Year gaol delivery of Asstze Assize Mayor of London Assize

1 152 45 98 3 6 2 108 18 48 42 3 118 44 18 4 56 4 125 62 11 38 5 142 54 35 3 50 68 108 48 18 4 38 7 73 41 2 2 28 70 15 1 54 9 55 2 2 50

Total No. including one including no No. for Newgate of g.d. including Regnal commissions of or two Justices Justices of which included only Justices of

10 40 4 2 34

while an increasing proportion of the commissions of gaol delivery were sent to justices of assize, the personnel of the commissions of assize and gaol delivery were far from coinciding.

The failure of the chancery to observe the statutory regulations in appointing justices of gaol delivery may possibly have been occasioned by the exigencies of time, which required many of the justices of assize

to return to Westminster for the law terms. If the justices were not obliged to deliver gaols after holding the assizes, their circuits might be shortened by several days. This policy, nevertheless, was not popular with

the commons, who petitioned in 1334 that the statute of Northampton be kept and that any commission of gaol delivery sent to others than the justices of assize should be repealed azuxibien a seute de partie come als

seute le rot. The response was that the statute should be kept and that any gaol delivery made contrary to it should be held null.**® In another 87 The dates of the commissions are seldom included in the enrolments on the patent rolls. There is, therefore, a possibility of slight error in the following analysis because a

commission of gaol delivery might have been issued to a justice who had not at the

moment received his commission of assize, or to a justice about to be displaced by a new

commission of assize.

°° Holdsworth, History of English Law, Ill, 285.

, *8° Rot. Parl. Inediti, 235, No. 11.

The Justices of Assize 239 petition in the same year, the commons complained that the statute of Northampton, ordaining that the justices should deliver the gaols in the counties each time after they heard the assizes and before they departed, was not being observed, and that the delivery of those falsely indicted as well as of felons, was thereby unduly delayed. The response to this petition was that the justices should not depart after taking the assizes until they had delivered the gaols on pain of losing their fee.1*° These responses, conveying the impression that the statutes of 1328 and 1330 were to be enforced to the letter, so far as the personnel of the two types of commissions went, are indeed puzzling in view of the above analysis of the personnel. It is not surprising that in 1328, when fewer than one half of the commissions of gaol delivery were sent to justices of assize in the counties where the gaols were located, a clerk was sufficiently confused

by the divergence of practice from the course set up by the statutes to enter Nomina qustitiariorum ad assisas capiendas et ad gaolas deliberandas assignatorum in singulis comitatibus per Angliam on the Originalia Roll.1** Commissions of assize and of gaol delivery were still being issued separately in 1376, when the commons petitioned in vain that the justices of assize be given one patent for holding the assizes and delivering gaols.1*”

The same motives of expediency may have been responsible for the failure to observe the legislation requiring gaols to be delivered at least three times a year.’** In the first year of Edward III, for example, while there were seven commissions of gaol delivery for Lincoln Castle, five for Dorchester, thirteen for Somerton, ten for Launceston, six for Leicester

and six for Nottingham, there were only two commissions for the gaols of East Dereham, Lydford, Ockham, Maidstone and Royston, and only one for the gaols of Reading, Dunstable, St Alban’s and Lostwithiel. The commissions were evidently sent out as they seemed to be required without regard for statutory provisions.

An examination of the gaol delivery commissions enrolled on the patent rolls shows that the justices definitely were not, in this period authorized to deliver prisoners ‘by whomsoever indicted and for whatever crime committed.’*** On the contrary, their jurisdiction was subject to

restrictions, and it varied in extent as the different groups favoring or opposing the different law enforcing agencies gained power. Prisoners +49 Ibid., p. 235, No. 10. The commons obviously confused the statute of Northampton with that of 1330. **1 Rotulorum Originalium in curia scaccarii abbreviatio (Record Commission, London, 1805-1810), II, 24. The names are not printed. 142 Rot, Parl. Il, 334.

434 Edward III, c. 2. *** Encyclopedia of the Laws of England, 3rd. ed., I, 6, 37.

240 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 detained for rebellion and prisoners indicted before the justices of oyer and terminer were almost invariably excluded from the jurisdiction of the justices of gaol delivery, although a few commissions in the decade were issued for the delivery of specific prisoners thus indicted.’4° After the commissions of the peace of 18 May 1329 had empowered the keepers of the peace to determine felonies and trespasses, prisoners indicted before the keepers were excepted for a short time from the jurisdiction of the justices of gaol delivery. In 1330 nine commissions of gaol delivery, however, expressly included the power to deliver prisoners indicted before the keepers, and one of the nine is dated 12 April 1330,1*° six months before the statute of 1330 reversed the policy of permitting the keepers to deliver their own prisoners and provided that they send their indictments to the justices of assize.**’ In 1332, although the keepers again had authority to determine trespasses and felonies, their prisoners were not expressly excluded from the jurisdiction of the justices of gaol delivery. After 1330 the justices of gaol delivery were empowered by statute to hear complaints of sheriffs and gaolers who took money from constables and townships for receiving felons, and to punish the sheriffs and gaolers found guilty.**®

As Justices at Nisi Prius The power of the justices of assize to try cases at nisi prius had been

instituted by the statute of Westminster II (1285). This statute, after providing that assizes of mort d’ancestor might for certain reasons be adjourned into the common pleas, provided that the justices of the bench in such assizes should give at least four days a year before the justices assigned, who should be two ‘sworn justices.’ Inquisitions of other pleas pleaded in either of the benches, if little examination were required, were also to be determined by the justices of assize, but inquisitions demanding wide examination were to be taken before the justices of the benches unless both parties were willing for them to be taken before some of the associates when they were on circuit.’*? The justices of assize, however, were not mentioned in the statute De fimibus of 1299, which provided that

inquests and recognizances determinable before the justices of either bench and not requiring great examination should be taken in the vaca181, m. 6d; 182, m. 25d. **° Ibid., Nos. 173, mm. 48d., 38d., 36d., 35d., 28d., 19d; 173, m. 35d. The other eight enrolments are not dated but their position on the patent roll suggests that they were also Issued prior to the statute.

474 Edward Ill, c. 2. 484 Edward III, c. 10.

, 14913 Edward I, c. 30.

The Justices of Assize 241 tions before any one of the justices before whom the plea was brought, if one knight of the shire was associated with him.*°° This provision was confirmed by the statute of York in 1318, which, in addition, provided that inquests and juries in pleas of land requiring great examination should be taken in the counties before two justices of the bench, if the demandant requested it.?** The statute of Northampton of 1328 repeated these pro-

visions and permitted the inquests to be taken in the counties at the request of the tenant as well as of the demandant.’*? It seems clear from the provisions of the statutes that the justices of assize, as such, were not intended to hold pleas at mzsi prius. They did not go on circuit at this time with commissions of nisi prius.1°? When they did try such cases, it was not because as justices of assize they automatically received commissions of mst prius, but rather because they were justices of the bench in which the plea had been originally brought. Indeed, the

justices of assize were sitting in the shires so often between 1327 and 1336 that if they had automatically received commissions of nisi prius there would have been no reason for the enactment of the statute of 1340. This statute was passed to remedy the delays occasioned by the irregular coming of the justices of the central courts into the counties. By it, issues might be tried at msi prius before a justice of either bench, or before the chief baron of the exchequer if he was a lawyer, and if none

of these came into the counties, the issues might be tried before the justices of assize if one of them was a justice of either bench or a king’s serjeant.*°#

As Justices of Oyer and Ternuner As in the case of commissions of nisi prius, when the justices of assize received commissions of oyer and terminer it was because of their posi-

tions as justices in the central courts or because it was convenient to employ justices already assigned to the circuits for this purpose. They were not always given commissions of oyer and terminer when they went on circuit,*®® and the statute specifically notes that ... oyers and terminers shall not be granted but before justices of one bench or the other, or the justices itinerant, and that for the great hurt, or horrible trespasses, and of the king’s special grace, after the form of the statute ordained.*°® 16927 Edward I, c. 4. 18112 Edward II, c. 3.

1522 Edward Ill, c. 16. | 163 Cf, Encyclopedia of the Laws of England, 3rd ed., 1, 637. 16414 Edward III, c. 16.

165 Cf, A. T. Carter, A History of the English Courts (ed. 6, London, etc., 1935), p. 60; Encyclopedia of the Laws of England, 3rd ed., I, 637. 1662 Edward III, c. 2; cf. 13 Edward I (Westm. II), c. 29.

242 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Cases heard by the justices of assize by virtue of a commission of oyer and terminer were seldom enrolled on the same membranes containing enrolments of possessory assizes. An exception to this is found on the roll of Cantebrigge and Shardelow, justices of assize on the eastern circuit in 1334. Cantebrigge, William Moigne, and Richard de Glatton’*®’ were ap-

pointed justices of oyer and terminer on 4 July 1334 on the complaint of Queen Isabella that her servants of Glatton in Huntingdonshire had caused some of her beasts to be taken away, and that other malefactors had broken her parks, taken away her cattle and assaulted her servants.***

Following the enrolment of the commission on the assize roll, there are enrolled letters close to the justices informing them that the queen had appointed Geoffrey de Corton and Stephen Clement her attorneys. The defendants did not come on the appointed day, and, because they had nothing by which they could be attached, a writ of capias was issued.*®°® No further process was enrolled. Incidental Jurisdiction and Value of the Justices of Assize

Although the justices of assize had no commission of the peace as such, they were occasionally called upon to deal in their sessions with violence or threats of violence. In 1328 William de Brustowe and Robert Heggeprest complained to the king that they were defendants in an assize of novel disseisin, and, although the justices had given them a day, they

would ‘not be able to have people of law’ because the plaintiffs were supported by divers malefactors, and they did not dare to appear on the day given for fear of bodily injury.*%° At Newport Pagnell, in 1334, Henry Anketil was fined 5 s. for coming into court armed contra constitutionem et proclamationem regni Anglie after 1t was found by inquisition that ‘he did not go armed to do any evil but because of the fear he had of his enemies.’ In the same session Hugh Gobyoun was attached to answer Anketil in a plea of trespass. Anketil charged that in full court, in the presence of the justices, Hugh had violently struck him against the peace and in contempt of court, and he asked for damages of £10. Hugh pleaded not guilty, an amazing plea if the assault had taken place before

the justices as alleged, and both men agreed to put themselves on the country. The jury returned that Hugh had struck Anketil in the chest

with his elbow to Anketil’s damage but not in contempt of court. Anketil was awarded damages and Hugh was sent to court and later 87 Moigne and Glatton were not justices of assize. 68Cf CPLR. 1330-34, 581.

; 188 Assize Roll, No. 355, m. 7. 169 Rot. Parl., II, 27.

The Justices of Assize 243 mainprised.*** In 1335 John Inge and his associates impeached and im-

prisoned Walter Horton, who had been an undersheriff of Devon, for an assault made on Richard de Fursdone within the bar while they were holding their sessions at Exeter.**? In 1336 a mandate was sent to the sheriff of Wiltshire to proclaim in the town in which the assizes were to

be held that no one should go armed, because the king had heard that men were making confederacies, ‘with no small multitude of men at arms’, to come before Shareshull and his fellow justices of assize in order to prevent the jurors from declaring the truth in certain assizes.*® The justices of assize appear to have taken cognizance of some cases without statutory authority. In Trinity term in 1334 in the common pleas a mandate was sent to the justices of assize in Staffordshire to make inquisition on oath concerning the amount by which the sheriff, suspected of converting distraints to his own use, had distrained four men for debt of £200.*°* This was twelve years before the statute of 20 Edward III, c. 6, gave the justices power to inquire in their sessions about sheriffs and other officers. The authority of the justices to take recognizances of debt in their sessions in this period is doubtful.*® In 1342 Notton declared, The justices of the bench and in eyre have larger power to admit fines, and that without warrant, than justices of assize, for the former have and will have cognizance of all pleas, and the latter only of assizes.

But Shareshull was uncertain and asserted, I once saw a recognizance for debt, which was made before justices of assize, and it was caused to come into the chancery, but whether it was put into execution or not I do not know.?®®

The justices of assize also disciplined officers who failed to perform their duties. William de Weston, a bailiff of the liberty of the earl of Lan-

caster in Buckinghamshire, was charged with being a maintainer and procurer of a jury when a panel which he had returned failed to appear. He was committed to gaol and later paid a fine of a half mark.*®” In another

case, the defendants complained, and the plaintiffs admitted, that the *Assize Roll, No. 73, m. 6. The exact nature of the contempts and _ trespasses for which Thomas de Kernbroke was given into the sheriff’s custody by the justices of assize in Kent was not stated, but the gravity of his offenses is apparent from an order to the sheriff to deliver him to the constable of the Tower of London (C.C.R. 1333-1337, 342). 102 CPR. 1334-1338, 195. 188 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 695.

164 Fist. Coll. of Staffs., XI (1890), 56.

*9° Sayles, Select Cases in the King’s Bench, U, li, states that in the reign of Edward I recognizances made before the justices of assize were enforced in the king’s bench. 10° YB. 16 Edward III, Rolls Series, 25-29. 7°7 Assize Roll, No. 73, m. 2d.

244 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 sheriff, who had arrayed the panel, was a brother of one of the plaintiffs and a maintainer, abettor and counsellor of the plea.*®* In 1335 a panel was

dismissed because the bailiff of the liberty from which the jurors were drawn was the plaintiff, and, therefore, had chosen his own jurors.*® William Gazleek, a bailiff of Suffolk, was amerced by the justices of assize in 1335 because he had maliciously empanelled Humphrey Bazsot, sixteen years of age, in an action in the court of common pleas.* Delinquent jurors, too, were punished by the justices. Jurors failing to come to the assizes were fined varying amounts. A panel of twenty-four recognitors in Cambridgeshire was distrained 6d. each. In a panel in Huntingdon, in 1332, twenty-two jurors failed to come. Of these one was fined 13d., four were fined 6d., and the others 3d. In another panel two were fined 6d. and eighteen 3d. Again, fourteen jurors, although they came, were fined 3d. each because they had failed to view the land in dispute.’7* Jurors making false oaths’? might be attainted by the oaths of twenty-four jurors, by their own acknowledgment upon examination by the justices, or by their voluntary repentance.’"* The statute of 5 Edward III provided that the justices before whom an assize was taken in which the jurors took bribes from the parties, thereby being liable to attaint, should have power to inquire and determine the offense.*’* Since jurors were chosen according to property qualifications set up by statute, it was comparatively easy to distrain them and to collect fines for disobedience.?*® 168 Assize Roll, No. 1417, m. 4. The justices then ordered the coroners to summon the recognitors. 18° Y.B. 7 Edward Ill, Rolls Series, 11. 179 Assize Roll, No. 856, m. 4. 11 bid.. Nos. 99, m. 4d; 355, mm. 2d, 4, 4d. It was essential that at least seven of the recognitors view the land in dispute (Bracton, III, 58).

*72 The forms of the oaths taken by the recognitors are given by Bracton, Ill, 72,

Britton, I, 347-48; Y.B. 20-21 Edward I, Rolls Series, I, 441. 173 Britton, II, 215, 217; Y.B. 11-12 Edward III, Rolls Series, 475 ff. In the eyre of

Kent, Toutheby, although refuted by Spigurnel, held that jurors in an assize of novel disseisin were not liable to attaint for false oaths concerning either the right of the litigants or the points raised in pleading, but only if the false oaths were made respecting the seisin of the freehold in dispute (Bolland, The Eyre of Kent, II, 196-97). Refusal to agree with one’s fellow jurors might also be grounds for attaint. In an assize brought at Northampton in 1346 eleven recognitors agreed and the twelfth said that he would never agree with them. The verdict of the eleven was accepted, and the twelfth was sent to gaol. It was said that he could have an attaint brought against him for refusal to agree (Y.B. 20 Edward Ill, Rolls Series, 554-56). “45 Edward III, c. 10. *7° Rot. Parl., I, 117. No one was to be put on an assize outside his county, unless he

had lands and tenements there to the yearly value of 100s; and no one was to be empanelled within his county unless he held lands and tenements in it worth 40s. annually. The jurors might be challenged if they did not have sufficient lands (Y.B. 18 Edward III,

, Rolls Series, 51; Harvard Ms. 3, f. 10b).

The Justices of Assize 245 In addition to the fines imposed upon disobedient officials and jurors, other fines made the sessions of the justices of assize profitable. The justices of assize did not have commissions of the peace, but every disseisin was a breach of the peace’’® and the disseisor, besides having to give the sheriff an ox worth 5 s., 4 d.,*”” was liable to punishment and amercement. The severity of the punishment depended upon whether or not the disseisin was made vi et armis.*"® In 1328 three disseisors were sent to prison because one of them had come with force and arms. And in 1335, when the jurors declared that a certain John had disseised the abbot of Sawtry at the command of one Richard but had used force and arms against Richard’s will, a capias was issued for John, and Richard was in mercy for his command to disseise the abbot.’7® The amount the disseisors were amerced was never to be less than the amount of the damages.'®® Plaintiffs, too, were frequently amerced for false claims against the persons named in their writs.*** Fines were also imposed on plaintiffs who failed to prosecute their writs after having sued them out. Conclusion

Although the sessions of the justices of assize were a source of revenue

for the crown, they were far from enriching the exchequer to the same extent as did the eyres in which all pleas were heard and determined. The value of the justices of assize to the government lay not so much in financial gain as it did in administrative advantages. The sending of paid professional lawyers, the majority of whom were justices on one of the benches, into the counties at fairly frequent intervals both relieved the central courts at Westminster, which continued to exercise supervision over them, and assured the entire realm of a uniform dispensation of justice in the possessory assizes. From the jurisdiction of the’ justices of assize there were but few exemptions. While it had been provided in 1293 that 17° Bracton, III, 18, 38.

7713 Edward I, c. 25. *7° E.g., Assize Roll, No. 355, m. 3. The phrase vi et arms when used in the possessory - assizes was descriptive and not technical. G. E. Woodbine has suggested that its use in describing a disseisin seems to have been due to Fleta’s (ed. 1647, pp. 220-221) misinterpretation of Bracton’s passage De violentia disseisina, id est de simplici violentia et sine armis. Bracton, III, f. 162. 7 Assize Roll, No. 356, m. 1. But for a disseisin made during an eyre the disseisors ee cepmnutted to gaol notwithstanding that it had not been made vi et armis (Harvard Ms. 8° F. Pollock and F. W. Maitland, History of English Law, II, 44. '** Britton, I, 298: “But for everyone named in the writ who can acquit himself, the plaintiff will be in mercy for his false plaint.

246 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 assizes in Middlesex should be heard in the common pleas,*® from 1327 to 1336 Middlesex was frequently on one of the circuits. This may perhaps

have been due to the fact that the common pleas in this period was for so long in York. The citizens of Lincoln were granted a charter on 7 October 1327 permitting that lands and tenements within the city, unless the pleas touched the king or the community of the city, might be pleaded in the burghmanmot in the guildhall before the mayor and the bailiffs.1** And a few towns enjoyed the privilege granted to York on 6 May 1331, when the mayor and bailiffs were authorized ‘to plead and take assizes

of fresh force*®* of any internal tenement and to make execution thereof.’?®°

It was not exemptions from their jurisdiction, but rather delays in taking assizes with which the justices had to contend in the early years of Edward III. The Scottish and French wars provided many men, who were named disseisors, with an excuse to obtain letters close to the justices

excusing their appearance on the ground that they were on the king’s service. In this way the assizes were sometimes deprived of their summary character. The approval of these delays by the king’s council at Notting-

ham in 1336'8 encouraged unscrupulous men before setting out on campaigns to become disseisors in order to secure the profits of the disseised lands while they were abroad. These evasions and the writs commanding the justices to delay the assizes until their return were condemned by the commons in parliament in 1343.79" But in spite of such delays and of the threats to their jurisdiction by the eyres and the migrations of the upper courts, the period from 1327 to 1336 was one of steady development in the powers and prestige of the justices of assize. Supported by the central government because of their

legal training, they scored a triumph over the keepers of the peace in 1330, when it was enacted that the keepers must send their indictments to the justices of assize. And, already popular with the commonalty of the realm because they eliminated the inconvenience and expense of journeys to Westminster, they were looked upon with especial favor in a 182 Rot. Parl., 1, 99.

89 C. Ch. R. 1327-1341, TV, 55, 160; Assize Roll, No. 519, m. 7.

*®4 An assize of fresh force was a local substitute for the possessory actions. It was an action available to inhabitants of towns possessing the franchise of having all actions concerning its citizens heard and determined within those towns (Bolland, The Eyre of Kent, III, xxxix-xl, Bateson, Borough Customs, I, 242-43). Southampton received this franchise on 28 March 1327 and Derby on 3 June 1327 (C. Ch. R., IV, 9, 51). SC. Ch. R., IV, 220. 189 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 725-26.

*87 Rot. Parl., II, 142.

The Justices of Assize 247 period when attempts were being made to revive the hated eyres. If the sessions of the justices of assize were more monotonous than those of the justices in eyre, it was in that very monotony that their strength lay. They made their circuits not to replenish the exchequer, but to execute a purely judicial function.


The following list of commissions has been compiled from the manuscript patent and assize rolls. The commissions have been arranged chronologically so far as this has been possible. In each case, the reference from the patent roll follows the names of the justices and the counties for which they were appointed, and, if the commission was found on an assize roll and not on the patent roll, this has been noted. Where the rolls of the justices acting by warrant of a particular commission exist, the numbers of those rolls follow the reference to the enrolment of the commission. The con-

tinuity in the personnel has made it possible to shorten the list considerably by giving, except in the case of the two Denums, only the surnames of the justices after the full names have once been given.

1 Edward III 8 Feb. John de Denum, Robert de Scorburgh, Adam Hoperton: Notts., Derby., Yorks., Lancs., Northumb., Westmor., Cumb. (Rot. Pat., No. 166, m. 37d). 8 Feb. John de Cantebrigge, Gilbert de Toutheby: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex, Herts., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 166, m. 37d). No date. John de Bourchier (Bousser), John de Trevaignon: Cornw., Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Hants., Wilts., Oxon., Berks. (Rot. Pat., No. 166, m. 35d).

| 21 Feb. John de Stonor, Henry le Gulden, Thomas de Louths: Oxon., Berks., ° Hants., Wilts., Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornw. (Rot. Pat., No. 166, m. 33d.; Assize Roll, Nos. 1397, headed ‘Stonore’, 1399).

No. date. Adam de Herewynton, Richard de Willoughby, Robert de Aston: Glouc., Heref., Salop, Staffs, Worc. (Rot. Pat., No. 166, m. 31d). No date. Robert Banyard, Simon de Hedersete, John Claver: Norf., Suff. (Rot. Pat., No. 166, m. 31d; Assize Roll, No. 1398, headed ‘Banyard’). No date. Stoner, John Inge, Louthe: Hants., Wilts., Oxon., Berks. (Rot. Pat., No. 166, m. 13d.; Assize Roll, No. 1397). No date. Walter de Friskeneye, Robert de Malberthorpe, Henry de Fenton: Lincs., Northants., Derby., Warw., Leics., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 166, m. 30d.; Assize Roll, No. 1393b).

24 Mar. Bousser, Toutheby, Cantebrigge: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex, Herts., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 166, m. 1id.; Assize Rolls, Nos. 22, 98, 257, 354, 385, 888, 938).

2 June. William de Herle, John de Denum: Yorks., Northumb., Cumb., Westmor., Lancs., Notts., Derby. (Rot. Pat., No. 167, m. 16d).

No date. Willoughby, William de Denum: Notts., Derby., Yorks., Northumb., Cumb., Westmor., Lancs. (Rot. Pat., No. 168, m. 9d). 10 Jan. Richard de Whatton with Willoughby, Denum: Notts. (Rot. Pat., No. 168, m. 3d).

2 Edward III 12 May. William de Denum with Willoughby in place of Adam de Brom, who is on the king’s business: Notts., Derby. (Rot. Pat., No. 169, m. 6d). 19 May. Stonor, Cantebrigge: Oxon., Berks., Cornw., Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Hants., Wilts. (Rot. Pat., No. 169, m. 6d.; Assize Roll, No. 1399). 19 May. Friskeneye, Malberthorpe: Lincs., Leics., Warw., Northants., Rutland (Rot. Pat., No. 169, m. 6d.; Assize Rolls, Nos. 471, 517, 519, 535, 641, 970, 1400). Cantebrigge either replaced Friskeneye or received a commission of

) association before 9 Jan. 1329 (Assize Roll, No. 970, mm. 1, 4).

The Justices of Assize 249 19 May. Herewynton, Henry de Hambury: Salop, Staffs., Worc., Heref., Glouc. (Rot. Pat., No. 169, m. 6d). 19 May. John de Mutford, John de Ingham: Norf., Suff., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 169, m. 6d). 19 May. Bousser, Toutheby: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Herts. (Rot. Pat., No. 169, m. 6d). This same commission is enrolled on Assize Roll, No. 938, m. 1, and adds Essex and Middlesex (Assize Roll, Nos. 385, 938). No date. Willoughby, William de Denum: Yorks., Northumb., Cumb., Westmor., Lancs., Notts., Derby. (Rot. Pat., No. 169, m. 2d; Assize Roll, No. 1400). 17 Oct. Claver with Bousser in place of Toutheby, deceased: Middx., Herts., Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Kent (Rot. Pat., No. 170, m. 19d). No date. Banyard, Hedersete: Norf., Suff., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 170, m. 19d.; Assize Roll, No. 1398, 1402). 3 Nov. Louthe with Bousser in place of Toutheby, deceased: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex, Herts., Middx. (Rot. Pat., No. 170, m. 18d.; Assize Roll, Nos. 334, 385, 888).

1 Jan. Hambury, Roger de Hullary, Aston: Salop, Staffs., Heref., Glouc., Worc. (Rot. Pat., No. 169, m. 35d).

3 Edward Ill 2 Mar. Trevaignon with Stonor in place of Cantebrigge: Cornw., Devon, Somerset, , Dorset, Wilts., Hants., Oxon., Berks. (Rot. Pat., No. 171, m. 33d.; A.R. 1401). 30 Mar. John de Annesley, William de Shareshull: Glouc., Worc., Heref., Salop, Staffs. (Rot. Pat., No. 171, m. 25d.; A.R., No. 1403). 10 May. Robert Selyman with Trevaignon in place of Stonor: Cornw., Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wilts., Hants., Oxon., Berks. (Rot. Pat., No. 171, m. 22d.; A.R. No. 222). 6 June. Willoughby, Louthe: Essex, Herts., Surrey, Sussex, Middx. (Rot. Pat., No. 171, m. 14d.; A.R. No. 1400).

25 June. Willoughby with Louthe in place of Bousser, deceased: Essex, Herts., Surrey, Sussex, Mddx. (Rot. Pat., No. 171, m. 12d.; A.R. No. 1400). On 16 Nov. Robert Ashley was substituted for Louthe (A.R., No. 1400, m. 10). 3 July. Herle, William de Denum: Yorks., Northumb., Cumb., Westmor., Lancs., Notts., Derby. (Rot. Pat., No. 171, m. 10d.; A.R. Nos. 163, 427, 688, 995, 1123).

1 Dec. Willoughby with Hedersete in place of Banyard, who is on the king’s service: Norf., Suff., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 172, m. 6d).

4 Edward III 25 Jan. Henry le Scrope, John Travers: Yorks., Lancs., Northumb., Westmor., Cumb. (Rot. Pat., No. 173, m. 49d.; A.R. No. 1404). 12 May. John de Radenhale, Hedersete: Norf., Suff., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 173, m. 27). 24 May. Radenhale, Hedersete: Norf., Suff., Beds., Bucks., Camb., Hunts. (Rot. Pat., No. 173, m. 20d). 30 May. Willoughby, Hedersete: Norf., Suff., Beds., Bucks., Cambs., Hunts. (Rot. Pat., No. 173, m. 22d.; A.R. No. 1400). 11 July. Hambury, Hillary, Shareshull: Salop, Staffs., Heref., Glouc., Worc. (Rot. Pat., No. 173, m. 15d). No date. Louthe, Thomas de Faversham: Essex, Herts., Kent, Surrey, Sussex (Rot.

Pat., No. 173, m. 15d).

250 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 1 Sept. Thomas Bacon with Louthe in place of Faversham: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Herts., Essex (Rot. Pat., No. 173, m. 3d). 18 Nov. Travers, Scorburgh: Yorks., Lancs., Cumb., Northumb., Westmor., Notts., Derby. (Rot. Pat., No. 174, m. 31d). 19 Dec. Radenhale, Ralph de Bocking, Claver: Norf., Suff., Essex, Herts., Cambs.,

Hunts. (Rot. Pat., No. 174, m. 17d). ,

19 Dec. Robert de Thorpe, John Beek, Peter de Ludington: Lincs., Rutland, Warw., Leics., Northants., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 174, m. 17d). 19 Dec. Inge, Louthe, Hampton: Hants., Wilts., Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornw. (Rot. Pat., No. 174, m. 17d.; A.R. No. 1407). 19 Dec. John de Ifeld, Faversham, Bacon: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Oxon., Berks. ' (Rot. Pat., No. 174, m. 17d). 19 Dec. John de Trillowe, Shareshull, Aston: Glouc., Worc., Heref., Salop, Staffs. (Rot. Pat., No. 174, m. 17d). 19 Dec. Peter de Middleton, Scorburgh, Hoperton: Yorks., Northumb., Cumb.,

Westmor., Lancs., Notts., Derby. (Rot. Pat., No. 174, m. 17d.; A.R. No. 1404).

§ Edward III

30 Jan. Robert de Thorpe, Fenton, Richard de Bankwell: Lincs., Rutland, Northants., Leics., Warw. (Rot. Pat., No. 175, m. 38d.: A.R. No. 1408).

30 Jan. Hambury, Hillary, Aston: Glouc., Heref., Worc., Salop, Staffs. (Rot. Pat. No. 175, m. 38d). 30 Jan. Hedersete, Radenhale, Claver: Norf., Suff., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 175, m. 38d). 30 Jan. Ifeld, Bacon, Faversham: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex, Herts. (Rot. Pat., No. 175, m. 37d).

30 Jan. Middleton, William de Denum, Scorburgh: Yorks., Notts., Derby., Northumb., Cumb., Westmor., Lancs. (Rot. Pat., No. 175, m. 37d.; A.R. No. 1404). 3 Feb. Thorpe, Fenton, Bankwell in place of Malberthorpe and Cantebrigge, who are on the king’s business: Lincs. (Rot. Pat., No. 175, m. 36d). 18 Feb. Hambury, Hillary, Aston: Glouc., Heref., Worc., Salop, Staffs. (not on Rot. Pat. but enrolled on A.R., No. 811, m. 3. A.R. Nos. 292, 310, 811, 1406). No date. Radenhale, Hedersete, Claver: Norf., Suff., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 175, m. 35d). 8 June. Selyman, Trevaignon with Hampton in place of Inge and Louthe, who are on the king’s business: Oxon., Berks., Hants., Wilts., Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornw. (Rot. Pat., No. 175, m. 34d).

13 July. Inge with Selyman, Trevaignon, Hampton: Hants., Wilts., Dorset,

Cornw. (Rot. Pat., No. 175, m. 7d). 1 Dec. Inge with Trevaignon and Hampton in place of Selyman: Oxon., Berks., Hants., Wilts., Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornw. (Rot. Pat., No. 177, m. 9d.; A.R., Nos. 1409, 1410, 1414, 1415, 1416, 1418, 1419).

6 Edward III 2 Feb. Middleton, William de Denum, Scorburgh: Northumb., Cumb., Westmor., Yorks., Lancs., Notts., Derby. (not on Rot. Pat. but enrolled on A.R. No. 1411a).

20 Mar. Cantebrigge, Shardelowe, Claver: Norf., Suff., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 178, m. 24d.; A.R., Nos. 29 and 73, headed ‘Cantebrigge’, 99, 355, 600 and 855, headed ‘Cantebrigge’).

The Justices of Assize 251 1 July. Willoughby with Hillary and Aston in place of Hambury, who is on the king’s business: Glouc., Worc., Heref., Salop, Staffs. (Rot. Pat., No. 179, m. 32d).

30 Oct. Shareshull, John Peyton, Sr.: Salop, Staffs., Heref., Worc., Glouc. (Rot. Pat., No. 180, m. 16d). 4 Nov. Willoughby with Fenton in place of Bankwell, who is on the king’s business: Lincs., Rutland, Leics., Warw., Northants., (Rot. Pat., No. 180, m. 12d.; A.R., No. 1400). 5 Nov. Bankwell with Willoughby and Fenton: Lincs., Rutland, Leics., Warw., Northants. (Rot. Pat., No. 180, m. 12d.; A.R. No. 1400). 14 Nov. Richard de Aldeburgh with Middleton and William de Denum in place of Scorburgh, who is on the king’s business: Yorks., Notts., Derby., Northumb., Cumb., Westmor., Lancs. (Rot. Pat., No. 170, m. 10d). 6 Dec. Bacon, William Scott, Faversham: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex, Herts. (Rot. Pat., No. 180, m. 9d.; A.R., No. 1412).

7 Edward Ill 1 May. Willoughby, Bankwell, Fenton: Notts., Derby. (Rot. Pat., No. 181, m. 12d).

8 July. Middleton, Thomas de Heppescotes, Robert Parning: Yorks., Northumb., Cumb., Westmor., Lancs. (Rot. Pat., No. 181, m. 11d). 31 Aug. William de Denum, Aldeburgh, Parning: Yorks., Westmor., Northumb., Cumb., Lancs. (Rot. Pat., No. 182, m. 20d). 5 Sept. Adam de Hughes associated with Denum, Aldeburgh, Parning: Northumb. (Rot. Pat., No. 182, m. 21d). 8 Nov. Bacon, Scott, Faversham: Middx. (Rot. Pat., No. 182, m. 14d). 1 Dec. Heppescotes with Denum and Aldeburgh in place of Parning, who cannot be present: Yorks., Northumb., Cumb., Westmor., Lancs. (Rot. Pat., No. 182, m. 12d).

8 Edward Ill 6 Feb. Inge, Trevaignon, Hampton: Kent (Rot. Pat., No. 183, m. 42d.; A.R., No. 199). 6 July. Aldeburgh, Heppescotes, Parning: Yorks., Northumb., Westmor., Cumb., Lancs. (not on Rot. Pat., but enrolled on A.R., No. 1417, m. 6, and A.R., No. 1364, m. 1, the latter giving the date 7 July). 14 Nov. Robert de Sadyngton with Willoughby and Bankwell in place of Fenton: Lincs., Northants., Rutland, Warw., Leics., Notts., Derby. (Rot. Pat., No. 184, m. 12d.; A.R., No. 1400).

18 Nov. Hillary with Shareshull and Peyton, Sr.: Glouc., Worc., Heref., Salop, Staffs. (Rot. Pat., No. 184, m. 12d). 1 Jan. Shareshull, Hillary, Peyton: Heref., Glouc., Salop, Staffs. (not on Rot. Pat., but enrolled on A.R., No. 1413a, m. 11). 8 Jan. Bacon, Scott: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex, Herts. Middx. (Rot. Pat., No. 184, m. 7d).

8 Jan. Shardelow, Claver: Norf., Suff., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 184, m. 7d.; A.R., Nos. 30, 73, 100 and 356, headed ‘Shardelowe’; Nos. 601, 856, headed ‘Shardelowe’).

9 Edward III 28 Jan. Bacon, Scott, Richard de Kelleshull: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex, Herts., Middx. (not on Rot. Pat., but enrolled on A.R., No. 1420, m. 1).

252 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 2 April Shareshull, Peyton, Hillary: Heref., Glouc., Worc., Salop, Staffs. (not on Rot. Pat., but enrolled on A.R., No. 1413, m. 10). 10 Edward Ill 15 Feb. James de Wodestoke with Inge and Hampton in place of Trevaignon, deceased: Hants., Wilts., Oxon., Berks., Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornw. (Rot. Pat., No. 187, m. 44d). 3 May. Shareshull, Inge, Wodestoke: Oxon., Berks., Hants., Wilts., Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornw. (Rot. Pat., No. 187, m. 19d.; A.R., No. 1422). 1 June. Hugh de Croft with Shardelowe and Claver: Norf., Suff., Cambs., Hunts., Beds., Bucks. (Rot. Pat., No. 187, m. 9d.; A.R., Nos. 30, 73, 100, 356, 601, 856).

13 Jan. Scott, Kelleshull to act, although Bacon has died: Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Middx., Essex, Herts. (Rot. Pat., No. 188, m. 8d).



(Roman numerals are for regnal years; numbers after colons are

Assize Rolls references) |


Bedford 12 June, 12 Sept. I: 22, mm. 1, 4; 27 Feb., 28 Sept. IH: 1402, mm. 2, 8; 23 July VI: 29, m. 1; 21 July VII: 29, m. 2d; 21 July VIII: 29, n. 6; 29 Mar., 21 July IX: 30, m. 1, 10 Apr. X: 30, m. 8. Berks.

Wallingford 5 Jan. I: 1397, m. 7; 23 July VIII: 1416, m. 10; 24 Feb. IX: 1418, m. 2. Remenham 21 July VI: 1409, m. 3. Earley 10 Oct. V1: 1409, m. 3. Newbury 23 July VII: 1415, m. 2. Windsor 29 July IX: 1419, m. 17; 26 July X: 1422, m. 22. New Windsor 26 July X: 1422, m. 23. Bucks.

Aylesbury 24 Feb., 2 Oct. III: 1402, mm. 1, 9; 20 July VI: 73, m. 1; 19 July VII: 73, m. 3; 20 Sept. X: 73, m. 9d.

Newport Pagnell 16 July IV: 1400, m. 5; 19 July VIII: 73, m. 4; 19 July IX: 73, m. 8; 12 Apr. X: 73, m. 8d. Cambs. Cambridge 23 Apr., 9 Sept. I: 98, mm. 1, 2; 14 Apr. II: 98, m. 1; 3, 6 Mar. III: 1402,

mm. 5, 6; 20 July IV: 1400, m. 1; 29 July, 14 Dec. VI: 99, mm. 1, 3d; 12 Apr. VII: 99, m. 4d; 3 Mar., 26 July VIII: 99, mm. 7d., 9; 27 Feb., 23 Mar., 27 July IX: 100, mm. 1, 2, 4; 5 Apr., 11 Sept. X: 100, mm. 5, 7.

Cornwall. , Launceston 12 June I: 1397, m. 3; 21 Sept. If: 1399, m. 20; 6 Apr. III: 1401, m. 19; 13 Mar. V: 1407, m. 13; 22 Mar. VII: 1414, m. 11; 29 Aug. VIII: 1416, m. 3; 28 Mar. IX: 1418, m. 20; 26 Aug. X: 1422, m. 113. St Neot 10 Sept. I: 1397, m. 3; 16 July VIII: 1416, m. 3, 27 Mar. IX: 1418, m. 20; 16 Sept. X: 1422, m. 113.

Lostwithiel 19 Aug. VII: 1415, m. 18.

The Justices of Assize 253 Cumberland. Carlisle 4 Sept. III: 1404, m. 29; 11 Mar., 16 Aug. V: 1404, mm. 21, 23; 16, 19 Mar. VI: 1411a, mm. 18, 20; 26 Aug. VIII: 1364, m. 3; 3 Mar., 26 Sept. IX: 1417, mm. 2, 9.

Derby. Derby 16 Aug. III: 163, m. 1, 28 May, 7 Aug., 13 Jan. VII: 1400, mm. 212, 213, 216; 2 July, 7 Dec. VIII: 1400, mm. 219, 220; 8 June IX: 1400, m. 221; 25 Feb., 31 July X: 1400, mm. 221, 222d.

Sandiacre 28 May X: 1400, m. 222. Devon. Devon 8 Mar. V: 1407, m. 12. Exeter 8 June 10 Aug. I: 1397, mm. 1, 23; 7 Mar., 14 Sept. II: 1399, mm. 6, 17; 31 Mar. III: 1401, m. 14, 8 Mar. V: 1407, m. 10; 22 Apr. VI: 1410, m. 8; 15, 18 Mar., 11 Aug. VII: 1414, mm. 9, 10 and 1415, m. 13; 19 Aug. VIII: 1416, m. 4; 21 Mar., 21 Aug. IX: 1418, m. 18 and 1419, m. 2; 19 Aug. X: 1422, m. 104. Dorset. Dorchester 3 Aug. I: 1397, m. 21; 29 Feb., 26 Sept. II: 1399, mm. 1, 24; 23 Mar. III: 1401, m. 7; 8 Mar. IV: 222, m. 2; 28 Feb. V: 1407, m. 5; 10 Mar. VI: 1410, m. 6; 6 Mar., 2 Aug. VII: 1414, m. 6 and 1415, m. 8; 6 Aug. VIII: 1416, m. 20; 3 Mar. IX: 1418, m. 5; 6 Aug. X: 1422, m. 66. Chaston 3 Oct. VI: 1409, m. 8; 11 Aug. IX: 1419, m. 10. Essex.

Chipping Walden 24 Apr. I: 257, m. 1; 6 Apr. II: 257, m. 3d. Chelmsford 18 Sept. I: 257, m. 2; 5 June, 12 Aug. VII: 1412, mm. 15, 16; 1 Apr. VIII: 1412, m. 17; 28 Mar., 26 July, 4 Jan. IX: 1420, mm. 5, 5d. Waltham Holy Cross 20 Feb. II: 257, m. 7. Colchester 29 Apr., 27 Sept. III: 257, m. 7d. and 1400, m. 7; 8 June IV: 1400, m. 9; 22 July X: 1420, m. 6.

Rumford 10 Dec. VII: 1412, m. 16d. Gloucester. Gloucester 5 May, 12 June, 19 July, 28 Sept. III: 1403, mm. 1, 3, 5, 7; 5 Apr., 12 Aug. V: 292, mm. 1, 5; 7 Apr., 21 July VII: 1413, mm. 94, 95; 20 Apr., 18 Sept. IX: 1413, mm. 89, 90; 3 Apr. X: 1413, m. 87a. , Bristol 31 Aug. III: 1403, m. 6; 9 Sept. VIII: 1413, m. 92. | Tewksbury 10 Apr. V: 292, m. 3. Campden 19 Dec. VI: 1413, m. 96; 7 Apr. VIII: 1413, m. 93; 18 Sept. X: 1413,

m. 87.

Hereford. Hereford 4 Sept. III: 1403, m. 9; 8 Apr. V: 310, m. 2; 27 Apr. VI: 310, m. 1; 12 Apr., 8 Sept. VII: 1413, mm. 53, 54; 4 Apr., 11 Jan. VIII: 1413, mm. 52, 52a. Herts. Brandfeldok 29 May, 16 Sept. I: 334, mm. 5, 7; 19 Feb., 7 Apr. II: 334, mm. 3, 8d; 26 Apr., 25 Sept. III: 334, m. 1 and 1400, m. 11; 19 Apr. VII: 1412, m. 18; 11 Apr., 3 Oct. VIII: 1412, mm. 19d., 20; 24 July, 2 Jan. IX: 1420, m. 4; 15 Aug. X: 1420, m. 4d.

St Albans 25 July I: 334, m. 10; 5 June IV: 1400, m. 12; 9 Aug. VII: 1412, m. 18d; 6 Mar. IX: 1420, m. 3.

254 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Hunts. Huntingdon 22 Apr. I: 354, m. 18; 14 Apr. II: 354, m. 7; 27 Feb., 3 Mar. Ill: 1402, mm. 2, 7; 18 July IV: 1400, m. 3; 27 July, 11 Dec. VI: 355, mm. 1, 2; 14, 15 Apr. VII: 355, m. 3d; 28 Feb., 24 Apr., 24 July IX: 356, mm. 1, 1d. St Neots 10 Sept. I: 354, m. 20; 16 July VIII: 355, m. 5; 27 Mar. IX: 356, m. 1; 16 Sept. X: 356, m. 2d. Kent. Maidstone 17 July I: 385, m. 6; 2 Oct. Il: 1400, m. 16; 25 May IV: 1400, m. 17; 9 Apr. VII: 1412, m. 1; 4 Apr., 21 May VIII: 1412, mm. 5, 6; 10 Mar. IX: 1420, m. 17; 24 Feb. X: 1420, m. 22d. East Greenwich 9 Apr. II: 385, m. 4. Canterbury 2 Jan. II: 385, m. 1; 10 June VI: 1412, m. 2; 4 Aug. VII: 1412, m. 3; 9 Aug. IX: 1420, m. 18; 6 Aug. X: 1420, m. 21. Rochester 17 July III: 1400, m. 13. Dertford 26 Sept. VIII: 1412, m. 5; 13 Jan. IX: 1420, m. 22. Lancs.

Lancaster 7 Apr. II: 1400, m. 233; 28 Aug. III: 427, m. 1; 4 Mar., 5 Aug. V: 1404, mm. 18, 26; 18 Sept. [X: 1417, m. 6. Wigan 2 Aug. IV: 1400, m. 235. Clitheroe 4 Mar. V: 1404, m. 27; 18 Sept. VI: 1411a, m. 12. Leicester. Leicester 4 Apr., 17 Sept. II: 1393b, mm. 38, 51; 18 Sept. III: 471, m. 1; 16 Sept. V: 1408, m. 6; 5,6 Mar., 10 Sept. VI: 1408, mm. 11, 29; 2 Mar., 2 Aug. VII: 1400, mm. 155, 158; 10 Jan. VIII: 1400, m. 163; 22 Feb., 28 July IX: 1400, mm. 164, 166; 25 July, 26 Sept. X: 1400, mm. 167, 170.

Melton Mowbray >: 1400, m. 230. Shepeye 6 June VI: 1408, m. 34. Lutterworth 28 July VIII: 1400, m. 160d. Lincs.

Lincoln 16 Apr., 1 Oct. I: 1393b, 1393, m. 61; 6 Apr., 12 Sept., 9 Jan. Il: 1393b, mm. 50, 51; 27 Mar., 8 Jan. III: 517, m. 1; 18 Apr., 12 Sept., 8, 9, Jan. LV: 1400, m. 40d; and 519, m. 1; 19 Dec. V: 408, m. 9; 12 Mar., 10 June, 15 Dec. VI: 1408, mm. 17, 22 and 1400, m. 30; 18 Feb., 26 July VII: 1400, mm. 36, 42; 6 Apr., 12 Dec. VIII: 1400, mm. 44, 48; 20 Apr., 2 Aug. IX: 1400, mm. 52, 56; 12 Dec. X: 1400, m. 61.

St Botolph 29 July I: 1393b, m. 57; 29 Aug. VIII: 1400, m. 45; 16 Sept. X: 1400, m. 60.

Stamford 2 May III: 535, m. 7. Middx.

Westminster 9 Apr. VIII: 1412, m. 14; 2 Mar., 27 July, 15 Jan. IX: 1420, mm. 1, 1d; 17 Feb. X: 1420, m. 2.

London 26 July X: 1420, m. 2d. Norfolk. Norwich 20 Apr., 21 July, 8 Jan. I: 1398, mm. 1, 3, 5; 10 Jan. TI: 1398, m. 9; 3 May, 14, 15 Sept. III: 1398, mm. 10, 17, 18; 17 June, 16 Sept. VI: 600, mm. 1, 6;

27 May, 6 Sept. VII: 600, mm. 13d., 17d; 31 Mar., 12 Sept. VIII: 600, mm. 20d., 22; 3 Aug., 8 Jan. IX: 601, mm. 1, 4.

Thetford 18 Sept. IX: 601, m. 2. Bps. Lynn 22 July X: 601, m. 6.

The Justices of Assize 255 Northants. Northampton 28, 29 Feb., 6 Apr. II: 1393, mm. 13, 16; 9 Sept. V: 1408, m. 1; 12 Mar., 14 Sept. VI: 1408, mm. 20, 31; 17 Feb., 10 Dec. VII: 1400, mm. 82, 90; 22 July, 19 Dec. VIII: 1400, mm. 93, 97; 24 July, IX: 1400, m. 100; 4 Mar. X: 1400, m. 103.

Stamford 22 Feb. VII: 1400, m. 86. Daventry 13 May VIII: 1400, m. 92. >» 26 Sept. II: 641, m. 5. Northumberland. Newcastle 15 Mar., 21 Aug. V: 1404, mm. 33, 34; 22 Aug., VIII: 1364, m. 1; 8 Mar., 30 Sept. IX: 1417, mm. 4, 10. Notts. Nottingham 18 Aug. III: 688, m. 1; 24 May V: 1404, m. 40; 29 May, 5 Aug., 11 Jan. VII: 1400, mm. 182, 183, 187; 4 Jan. VIII: 1400, m. 192; 6 June, 4, 7 Aug., 2 Oct. LX: 1400, mm. 193, 193d., 198.


Oxford 15 July I: 1397, m. 12; 3 Jan. Il: 1399, m. 27; 12 Apr. V: 1407, m. 16; 22 Sept. VI: 1410, m. 1; 22 Feb., 21 July VII: 1414, m. 1 and 1415, m. 1; 21 July VIII: 1416, m. 11; 22 Feb., 26 July IX: 1418, m. 1 and 1419, m. 19; 22 July X: 1422, m. 10.

Grandpont 16 July I: 1397, m. 15; 4 Jan. II: 1399, m. 29; 13 Apr. V: 1407, m. 17; 23 Sept. VI: 1410, m. 2; 24 Feb. VII: 1414, m. 2. Crowmersh 4 Jan. [: 1397, m. 6. Henley 20 July VI: 1409, m. 1. Rutland.

Ockham 29 Sept. Il: 1393b, m. 46; 16 Mar., 13 June VI: 1408, m. 16d; 8 Jan. VIII: 1400, m. 116; 31 July IX: 1400, m. 117. Market Overton 17 Dec. V: 1408, m. 16. Bradcroft 23 Feb. VII: 1400, m. 115. Salop.

Shrewsbury 7, 11 Sept. If: 1403, mm. 11, 12; 1 Aug. V: 1406, m. 4; 15 Apr. VII: 1413, m. 39; 20 Dec. IX: 1413, m. 33.

Newport 12 May V: 1406, m. 2. Ford 8 Aug. V: 1406, m. 1. Ludlow 7 Jan. VI: 1413, m. 41; 7 Apr. VIII: 1413, m. 37a; 25 Apr. IX: 1413, m. 35; 9 Jan. X: 1413, m. 30. Ludford 8 Jan. VI: 1413, m. 55; 24 Apr. IX: 1413, m. 51; 8 Jan. X: 1413, m. 49. Bridgenorth 14 Jan. VIII: 1413, m. 6; 17 Apr. X: 1413, m. 31a. Somerset.

Somerton 5 Aug. I: 1397, m. 19; 10 Sept. II: 1399, m. 15; 27 Apr., 30 Sept. VI: 1409, m. 12 and 1410, m. 11; 10 Mar., 29 July, 5 Aug. VII: 1414, mm. 7, 7a and 1415, m. 10; 10 Aug. VIII: 1416, m. 9; 14 Mar., 14 Aug. IX: 1418, m. 16 and 1419, m. 6; 9 Aug. X: 1422, m. 83. Crukerne 4 Mar. II: 1399, m. 3. Chard 27 Mar. III: 1401, m. 10; 4 Mar. 1407, m. 7. *’ Name of town illegible.

256 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Southants. Southampton 27 July I: 1397, m. 17; 3 Sept. II: 1399, m. 13; 26 July VII: 1415, m. 13; 30 July VIII: 1416, m. 8. Winchester 9 Jan. I: 1397, m. 8; 1 Sept. II: 1399, m. 11; 16 Mar. III: 1401, m. 1; 22 Feb. V: 1407, m. 1; 24 July, 28 Sept. VI: 1409, m. 4 and 1410, m. 3; 27 Feb. VII; 1414, m. 3; 27 July VIII: 1416, m. 9; 3 Aug. IX: 1419, m. 15; 29 July IX: 1422, m. 34.


Stafford 27 Mar., 11 Sept. III: 1403, mm. 13, 14; 27 Aug. IV: 811, m. 6; 29 Aug. V: 811, m. 5; 17 Apr. VII: 1413, m. 15; 11 Apr. VIII: 1413, m. 12; 18 Dec. IX: 1413, m. 9. Lichfield 8,9 Mar. V: 811, mm. 2, 3; 14 July VII: 811, m. 1. Wolverhampton 4 Jan. VI: 1413, m. 16; 11 Mar., 17 Jan. VIE: 1413, mm. 11, 13; 27 Apr. IX: 1413, m. 10; 11 Jan. X: 1413, m. 7.

Suffolk. | Beccles 17 Apr. 1: 1393a, m. 19.

Henhowe 18 Sept., 12 Jan. I: 1398, mm. 7, 8; 11 Apr. II: 1398, m. 7; 8 May, 19 Sept. III: 1398, mm. 16, 19; 12, 15 June, 21 Sept. VI: 855, mm. 1, 3, 5d; 26 Feb., 7 June, 13 Sept. VII: 855, mm. 7d., 9, 11; 4 Apr., 16 Sept. VIII: 855, mm. 12, 15; 31 July, 22 Sept., 12 Jan. IX: 856, mm. 1, 2, 3; 29 July, 7 Jan. X: 856, mm. 4d., 6.

Surrey. Guilford 22 July I: 888, m. 9; 12 Jan. Il: 888, m. 5; 8 May, 7 Oct. III: 888, m. 1, 1400, m. 20; 1 June IV: 1400, m. 22; 6 Mar., 31 July IX: 1420, m. 12; 26 Feb., 29 July X: 1420, mm. 14, 15. Croydon 3 Oct. I: 888, m. 7; 12 Apr. II: 888, m. 3; 16 Apr. VII: 1412, m. 7. Lambeth 29 Jan. IV: 1400, m. 23. Southwark 7 Aug. VII: 1412, m. 8; 8 Apr. VIII: 1412, m. 9; 9 Jan. IX: 1420, m. 13. Sussex.

Horsham 20 July I: 938, m. 6; 9 Jan. II: 938, m. 1, 5 Oct. III: 1400, m. 24; 31 July VII: 1412, m. 11d; 28 Sept. VIII: 1412, m. 13; 8 Mar. IX: 1420, m. 7. Estgrensted 1 Oct. I: 938, m. 3; 11 Apr. II: 938, m. 4; 14 Apr. VII: 1412, m. 11; 11 Jan. IX: 1420, m. 7. Chichester 29 May IV: 1400, m. 27; 2 Aug. IX: 1420, m. 7; 31 July X: 1420, m. 10.

Warwick. Warwick 24 Feb. II: 970, m. 1; 24 Feb., 11 May III: 970, m. 4; 12 Sept. V: 1408, m. 3; 12 Dec. VI: 1400, m. 231; 20 Feb., 30 July VII: 1400, mm. 118, 120; 25 July VIII: 1400, m. 124; 3,6 Mar. IX: 1400, mm. 125, 130; 7 Mar., 30 July X: 1400, mm. 131d., 135.

Coventry 9 Apr. II: 1393b, m. 28; 9 Mar., 22 Dec. VI: 1400, m. 231, 1408, m. 13; 25 Sept. X: 1400, m. 137d. Rokeby 27 July IX: 1400, m. 127.

Westmoreland. Appleby 2 Sept. III: 995, m. 1; 8 Mar., 12 Aug. V: 1404, mm. 21, 35, 36; 20 Mar. VI: 1411a, m. 19d; 29 Aug. VIII: 1364, m. 5; 21 Feb., 23 Sept. IX: 1417, mm. 1, 8.

The Justices of Assize 257 Wilts.

Wilton 25 Feb. V: 1407, m. 4. New Sarum 30 July, 12 Jan. I: 1397, m. 11; 5 Sept. II: 1399, m. 13; 20 Mar. III: 1401, m. 4; 6 Mar., 6 Oct. VI: 1409, m. 6, 1410, m. 7; 3 Mar., 29 July VII: 1414, m. 5, 1415, m. 7; 1 Aug. VIII: 1416, m. 7; 6 Mar., 7 Aug. IX: 1418, m. 13, 1419, m. 12; 2 Aug., 9, 11 Dec. X: 1422, mm. 51, 52, 53.

Worcester. Worcester 15 Sept. III: 1403, m. 15; 12 Jan. VI: 1413, m. 76; 10 Apr., 24 July VII: 1413, mm. 74, 75; 9 Jan. VIL: 1413, m. 71; 22 Apr., 20 Sept. IX: 1413, mm. 69, 70; 5 Apr., 13 Jan. X: 1413, mm. 65, 67. Blockley 1 Apr. VIII: 1413, m. 72. Yorks.

York 22 Aug. III: 1123, m. 1, 6 Aug. IV: 1404, m. 11; 25 Feb., 5 Apr., 26 July, 12 Sept. V: 1404, mm. 1, 8, 14, 15; 3, 4 Mar., 27 July, 24 Sept. VI: 1411a, mm. 1, 2, 5, 9.


N. Nertson’ Records of the Court

Tr records that relate to the court of common pleas form an ex-

tremely valuable and, comparatively speaking, little studied body of historical and legal material. The bulk of them is so great that a short paper

of this kind cannot hope to do more than offer certain suggestions with regard to their content and usefulness. T’o speak of the most obvious docu-

ments only, there are for the ten years under discussion forty great plea rolls of the court, with entries of cases running sometimes to five or six thousand; there are bundles of writs for many at least of the ‘return days’ in each term, a single bundle including sometimes five hundred writs, and these are not yet entirely calendared or generally available; there are assize rolls on which nisi prius proceedings in common plea cases are entered; there are the rolls of the eyre courts held in certain counties during the decade, which should certainly be studied, although some of their procedure is transcribed in the rolls of the common pleas court itself; and there are the reports of cases included in the Year Books, which are long and interesting for the decade. There is also subsidiary material of different

kinds which should be examined in any definitive study. My main em-

phasis in this paper has fallen on certain of the great plea rolls, and certain of the bundles of writs which the officers of the Public Record Office have kindly placed at my disposal, and I have also examined the calendars of close, patent and fine rolls, and in some cases, the issue and liberate rolls. In trying to read as many of the plea rolls as seemed practical in the time and space at my disposal I have sometimes been led by fortune to entries of great interest, but I am sure that there are many other entries of as great or even greater interest that I have missed, for the war has limited greatly the use of manuscript material. I have divided my study into three parts; first, to follow some of the cases, for which I have examined the writs, through the rolls; second, to comment on some of the select cases on which I have happened to come; * Professor Neilson read and revised this chapter in September 1946. I have taken the liberty of transferring to the Appendix matter which originally appeared as pp. 3-19 of her

typescript [W. H. D.,, Jr.].

260 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 and finally, to give a fairly detailed analysis of the content of the plea roll of one term chosen at random.

Contemporary Descriptions of the Court At least two cases arising in common pleas in the decade give a vivid picture of the court in session, and are instructive in their concrete detail. In Michaelmas term of the fifth year,’ the plaintiff, Henry de Barkswell

of Stafford, counts that when he came into court on Monday, the feast of St Martin, to prosecute for the execution of a fine, before the justices ‘sitting and distributing justice to one and all of those who appeared before them in prosecution of their right, or wishing to prosecute it, and keeping firm peace for all,’ a certain Ralph of Stafford, a knight, with four other men with swords and knives drawn, to the injury of the crown and dignity of the king, and in contempt of court, and with malice aforethought, assaulted him in the great hall of the court of Westminster, and beat him and wounded him and evilly treated him, in the presence of the justices. He claims damages to the amount of £2000 and furnishes two

pledges for prosecuting the case. The criers of the court are thereupon told to attach the defendants who are present; and one of the defendants, a certain Simon le Budal, tried to flee and was thereupon taken by the criers (proclamatoribus) and apprentices of the court and led to

the bar. He wore a padded tunic (haketon) and a buckler, and had his sword in its sheath. Simon then denies the tort and force and both parties

put themselves on the jury. Simon was convicted and ordered to pay damages of £100 and was delivered to Richard de Kenelbrok, deputy of the constable of the Tower, in whose custody he was to be kept in irons at the king’s will, and his tunic, sword, and buckler were to be forfeited to the king, being valued at 3 s. 4 d. Then came the king’s attorney, Lucas de Burgh, saying that there were

other malefactors with Simon, and that a certain Hugo de Whitchurch of Shropshire, who was deputed by Edmund custos of the palace here to guard the palace, together with other men, sought to help the defendants to escape and tried to open the door of the chamber of the palace with keys which were in their custody, and so to let them pass through to chambers of the palace whence they might escape. He asks that this be inquired into. The jury gives a verdict against the defendants but acquits the deputy keeper of the palace, who pleads not guilty. Another lively disturbance is recorded even more vividly in the roll of Easter term of the fifth year.* It also took place in maiori aula West“C.P. 40, No. 287, m. 348. >C.P. 40, No. 285, m. 233.

The Court of Common Pleas 261 monasteri before the justices of the bench sitting there. Here the plaintiff, John Parles, attorney of a certain Adam Basset, pleads that when a case of debt brought by Adam Basset against Florence, a widow, and Thomas

_ of Newerk was pending, the said defendants together with a certain Richard Calware,* came into court with force and arms, with swords and knives, on the Monday next before the feast of the apostles Philip and James in the fifth year, and assaulted and beat him, the attorney, against the peace and to his damage £1000. The justices ordered the criers to attach

Florence and Thomas and Richard who were present. They, however, refused to allow themselves to be attached and made resistance, and on this a great tumult arose; and there came into court a certain Thomas de Thornham of the county of Norfolk with force and arms, seeking to rescue the defendants, and he drew his sword, as did also Thomas of Newerk, and they crossed the hall, without being attached, in contempt of the king’s court, crying quis est qui nos audeat aut velit attachiare, and going towards the door of the hall in order that they might escape. The justices thereupon ordered all in the court to resist with force this act of ‘malice,’ and to attach the disturbers. Thereupon clerks, apprentices, and attorneys of the court ‘made resistance’ to them, and closed the doors of the hall and attached them. Florence and the two Thomases so attached came to the bar and made denial of the tort and force and contempt, and put themselves on a jury, and John did likewise.

In the repetition of the story before the jury at a later stage of the trial occur a few additional interesting details. They say that John Parles, the attorney, was sitting on a table near those selling fuel in the hall (szper quandem tabulam juxta vendentes focalia), m the presence of the justices, and that Florence, Thomas, and Richard threatened him with bodily harm. Richard seized him by the arm and pulled him down from the table to the floor and struck him so that the blood came; and Thomas of Newerk drew a knife and threatened to kill him, being restrained therefrom only by the intervention of Richard Calware. The attempted escape of the defendants and the appearance of Thomas de Thornham with his provocative cry 1s repeated, and it is then related that Thomas de Thornham when led to the bar by force, drew his knife on Peter Hoo, clerk of the court (who often

signs membranes of the record). The verdict is that John Parles, the attorney, is therefore to recover against Florence and Thomas of Newerk his damages, and they and Thomas de Thornham are to be committed to the prison of the Fleet to be kept in irons. A postscript to the record gives further information. The lord king,

262 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 learning of these disgraceful happenings, which are to the injury of his crown and the breach of his peace and the evil example (perniciosum exemplum) of his people, fearing lest justice be not done in his court and wishing justice for all people and for his own domestici as well as others, sent to the justices, on the Tuesday next after the five weeks of Easter, Richard Calware, who had been omitted from the king’s verdict because he was of the king’s family and butlery, to stand his right on these premises, at the suit of the king or another. John Parles, the attorney, Richard being

then present in court, was asked if he would prosecute Richard, but re-

fused. The jury declared that procedure should be by indictment of Richard, Florence, Thomas, and the two Thomases. Richard, asked by the justices at suit of the king, how he wished to acquit himself, says he cannot deny that he struck John, and he is therefore committed to the Fleet, and the keeper thereof is told to turn the four over to John de Crumbwell, keeper of the Tower, present in court. Then William, bishop of Norwich, the treasurer, gave to the justices a schedule in which were contained the names of six pledges for Thomas de Thornham to have him coram rege in the octave of Holy Trinity, and of thirteen pledges for Richard de Calware to have him coram rege fifteen days after he had been notified.°®

Procedure of the Court. Writs and Rolls ‘Whatever the sheriff does in pursuance of this writ he must return or certify to the court of common pleas together with the writ itself.’ Thus Blackstone describes the essential importance of writs. They became either the initial step in bringing the case before the court or authorization of some necessary judicial step during its procedure. They form a body of material, much of it not yet calendared, of great importance for legal history. Through the kindness of Mr. Hilary Jenkinson of the Record Office, whose unfailing help is known to all American students, I have been permitted to make a short study of four bundles of such writs of the common pleas dating from this decade and not yet available for general use. They are writs endorsed and annotated by the sheriffs, and returned to the court, with their mission effected, on some stated return day within their respective terms. Even so small a sample of the great mass of material which will some day be open for inspection gives a certain concreteness

and definiteness to our understanding of the procedure. Not only did they serve their avowed legal purpose of giving the necessary commands to the sheriff to begin or continue proceedings in the court; the writs also, Mr. Jenkinson has suggested, were of great practical usefulness in furnish‘Later procedure should be sought in king’s bench rolls not now available to me.

The Court of Common Pleas 263 ing clerks of the court with convenient guides to the multiplicity of cases, entered with little apparent sequence or order, on the rolls of the court.

Writs and court rolls are essential to each other, and the necessity of studying both is indisputable. Each of the four terms of the legal year has its own court roll, which for the decade means forty rolls in all. Each roll may well consist of four or five hundred membranes sewed together at the top, each a yard or more long, written on both sides. There may well be, as has been said, five or six thousand entries on a given roll, show-

ing cases in all stages of procedure. There are few guides to the content in the rolls themselves, and a case sought for is the proverbial needle in the haystack. Almost every rotulet has a date at the top, but so carelessly have the membranes been sewed together that the membranes of any one date are not kept together but often scattered, and even sometimes these are to be found among the rotulets of another term. The county in which the case originates is entered on the margin of the rotulet, and some system

of grouping counties can be gained from a study of the names of the filacers who sign the rotulets, certain filacers being responsible for certain counties. A good deal is said of the custody of the rolls and writs in days

when the court moved from Westminster to York and back again. The chests and barrels in which they were transported had to be provided by the custos with the aid of others. Practically all important stages of procedure in a case for which we have a writ are to be found in the roll of the court. Yet concrete details and explanations of delay, names of summoners and pledges, or bailiffs, of liberties and the like, which are added by the writ, make the account in the roll more concrete and life-like. The earliest bundle of writs examined by me consists of some five hundred returned on the morrow of Purification, 3 February 1328. Since Edward became king on 25 January 1327 and Hilary term began two days earlier, 23 January, the date is given as Hilary, 1-2 Edward III. The writs are the familiar little long narrow bits of parchment written lengthwise in a small clear hand. They are threaded together by parchment twine, which runs through holes in the left hand end of the writ, sometimes obscuring the letters of any word that may be so pierced. Evidence remains of the tearing off of a long narrow bit of parchment from the lower margin of the writ, a strip which once tied the document, whether original or judicial, and received the seal. The writs of this particular return day are still in the parchment envelope in which such bundles were kept. They are arranged within the bundle by counties, in an order which is observed also in the other bundles I have examined. Beginning with those northern counties for which writs survive, they run, in general,

264 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 southward. The most litigious counties offering the greatest number of writs for this particular term were York (32), Lincoln (90), Suffolk (36), Norfolk (over 140). One or two writs are perhaps all that appear for some counties; none at all appear for others. Yorkshire would perhaps be naturally a good deal in evidence during the decade under discussion, since the king and court were there during long periods. Does the large number from Norfolk indicate a great population or a litigious disposition on the

part of that county? In the days of the Pastons we know that Norfolk was given to law suits. The writs are of chief value as indication of the kind of legal business

executed by the court and the stages of procedure through which that business passed. I have run through the third bundle, those returned on the octave of Purification of the fourth-fifth year, and made a rough classifica-

tion of the writs of certain counties included in it. Thus for Yorkshire (38) there are of original writs, three pones and nine precipes mostly relating to land, and a replevin,; of judicial writs issued by Stonor, J., there are four of summons, eleven of distringas, three of venire facias, five of capias, and two enjoining a view of a tenement. For Lincolnshire there are several original writs, thirteen relating either to land or to rendering a reasonable account, and one interesting recordum fieri loquele for the

production of a county court record of a case of replevin. Of judicial writs signed by Stonor and Travers, there are two of pone, four of summons, two of cape, two of capias, three of distringas, and one of venire facias. For Northamptonshire all are original precipes, with one judicial cape. For Southampton there are of original writs, twenty-five of precipe, three pones, one covenant, three of recordum fiert loquele for the production of records of the county court, hundred court, and a court of New Forest, all having to do with replevin, and of judicial writs two of distringas and one of ponas and one calling for a view. Similar classifications can be made of the writs of other counties. On the face of the judicial writ is found usually a reference to the membrane of the plea roll where the pertinent phase of the case is recorded and also the name of a clerk.

Original writs give the name of a justice. On the dorse of all writs is specific information regarding procedure. At the top 1s canc’ or the name of a clerk, probably the one responsible for sealing, who 1s usually Henry de Cliff or Henry de Edenstowe.® In the middle part is written by the * Occasionally this contraction is expanded: Magister Henry de Clife pro deo; or the same at the instance of some one, or as rec. pl : de p’s, or mittatur per magisteruin H,. de Clife quia at fait cosign’ canc’ pro deo; de assensu partium; per canc’ ad instantiani ete. At the foot is a notation very difficult to read. Sometimes it is mercly a scrawl, which must, however, have meant something to the sheriff and the clerks; sometimes a place, often a liberty is mentioned.

The Court of Common Pleas 265 sheriff in his own name (Ego X vicecomes Y sic respondeo) the report of what action he has taken towards executing the writ. He gives the names of good summoners or pledges; or he explains his delay or failure in completing instructions. His explanations are obviously important in the study of procedure. He may state that the writ was late in reaching him (quod iste breve tarde michi deliberatum fuit quod propter brevitatem temporis nullam

inde facere potui executionem). He may say either that the defendant cannot be found in his baliwick (zon est inventus), or that he has no goods

or lands in his bailiwick whereby he can be distrained. If the defendant is lurking in another county and hiding there (Jatitat et discurrit), a new writ must be drawn to the sheriff of that county. If he has no lay goods in his possession because he belongs to the church, a mandate must go to the bishop of the diocese to sequestrate his goods to the required amount.

Another very frequent excuse for his failure to act is that the defendant resides in a liberty or franchise, and that the bailiff of that liberty claims to have return of writs and jurisdiction for his lord’s court there. Thus in Berkshire there appears on writs the reference to bailiffs of the

following liberties: the honor of Wallingford, the honor of Leicester, the liberties of the abbot of Reading, of the abbot of Abingdon, of the

hundred of Hornmere, of the abbot of Westminster (Hurle), of the queen’s seven hundreds of Cookham and Bray. The reply of the bailiff, if he makes one, is also recorded on the writ. If none, or an unsatisfactory reply 1s made, a writ on omuttas ... propter libertatem .. . distringere, or the like, is sued to the sheriff enabling him to enter and act within the liberty. An example of a recalcitrant bailiff runs as follows: ‘this writ was returned by me to John Hagheman, bailiff of the liberty of the abbot of Westminster of Hurle, and the said bailiff gave me no answer.’ Sometimes the negligent bailiff is fined. Often the sheriff himself is fined, as we learn from the plea roll where the case is recorded. Thus a sheriff who discontinued an action on an outlawry because of error in the statement of the place named in the writ was fined 20 s. by the justices; and those who make no return of the issues in a distringas, or who failed to return an inquest ordered on the goods of an outlaw were fined. The total number of cases of delay in the delivery of writ and of fining, of punishing the sheriff, or transferring responsibility to the bailiff of a liberty is very small, however, in proportion to the total delays recorded. Any student of the plea rolls is familiar with the great frequency of the statement that the sheriff has not sent the writ (702 ausit breve) whereby adjournment is made necessary. Such failure in execution is the chief cause of the great delays in justice, and in spite of the light thrown by

266 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 writs on the reasons for delay in some small proportion of the cases, the question of the reason of the sheriffs’ very frequent negligence remains on the whole unanswered. Was there some financial reason at the bottom of it, some failure to receive fees? It should perhaps be added that the writs not sent would not appear amongst the bundles of writs actually returned to the court. A legitimate cause of delay was the death of jurors who had been impanelled for a given case, and the need of adding to the old panel (e.g. x tales) or forming a new panel. A writ of venzre facias is issued to the sheriff in such case, which is placed, in the bundles I have examined, at the end of the writs of a given county, and to it 1s sewed a slip containing the names of the new panel and the pledges of each juror. The number of adjournments because of failure of these jurymen to appear will be

recalled by every student of the plea rolls. | Illustrative Cases

For the study of court procedure, a few specific cases for which writs have been issued may be followed through the records of the common pleas during the ten years. It is possible that some of the cases entered have been overlooked in the mass of material available, but those that have been found are sufficient to convey a clear idea of the law’s delays and of some of the usual forms of procedure. [ have chosen at haphazard the Berkshire writs and have followed some of these cases as fully as I could through the plea rolls of the decade.

In the first bundle, of Hilary term of the first to second year, there are of original writs, with the royal teste me 1pso, a pone, that is to say a writ to the sheriff to ensure by safe pledges that a defendant shall be in the presence of the justices in a given plea at a given time, and two pre-

cipes, writs to return land or dower or to show cause why not. Of judicial writs issued by the court in the process of trying the case, there are writs of summons to hear the verdict, writs of record, and judgment in matters of land, as in cases originating in writs of right, in cessavit per bienmum, warranty, dower, detinue of chattels, detinue of a scriptum obligatorium (a written document recording a debt and the condition of its payment), covenant, and trespass. These writs are attested by Herle the chief justice, or by Stonor, and are dated in the preceding October or November. The king’s writs were usually issued in December or, once, on January first. The second bundle, that of year 3-4, contains twenty Berkshire writs. Of these there are original writs dated January of precipe quod reddat in debt, and writs of covenant and summons in waste and account, besides

The Court of Common Pleas 267 several in a famous case of quare impedit regarding an advowson claimed by the rector of the house of scholars, Stapledon Hall, Oxford. There are also judicial writs signed by Stoner, all in November, except one in January, which are of distringas in a variety of cases, like trespass, replevin, account,

and debt. In the third group of 4-5 Edward III there are ten Berkshire writs, being original writs of precipe in dower, account, waste, cessavit per biennium, and entry post dimissionem, and judicial writs of distringas in

actions of waste and account and of habere facias for making views of property in question. ‘he signatures are those of justices Travers and Stoner, and the dates November and October. The king’s teste me ipso dates from December and January. The fourth bundle of writs examined, for 4-5 Edward III, is different in nature, being composed entirely of writs of covenant (tenere conventionem), which have evidently been taken from their places in other bundles and strung together here, care-

lessly threaded on parchment twine through new holes made in the writs. This last bundle is suggestive of the uses that might be made of writs for the practical needs of the clerks of the court, and also of the difficulty of knowing whether any particular bundle of general writs for a particular term day 1s necessarily complete, or whether some have been cut out. Of the cases on the plea roll in the course of which our writs of the first bundle were issued, the following illustrations may be given. An action of detinue has been brought for the recovery of a scriptum obligatorium. A summons 1s issued for the appearance of the parties together with the record of the case in its earlier stages, as heard in the bench, which

is continued to the Martinmas following. At the time set, however, Martinmas of the second year, the justices were absent, and a new summons was therefore issued for Trinity next following. At this term the defendant defaulted and a writ of distringas was issued to bring him into court. His mainpernors, however, failed to produce him and were fined, and a new writ of distrimgas was issued sicut prius. An appearance was then made and the case went to the jury, but there are then four following occasions on which the jury is put in respite, the last being in Michaelmas of the seventh year, and no conclusion of the case has been found in the decade. It fades out. Again, unless I have missed an entry, in a case of trespass, the summons fails to bring the defendant.” The sheriff reports on the dorse of the writ that he, the defendant, has nothing whereby he can be distrained and a capias for the seizing of his person is issued, which is repeated three times and recorded on the rolls. Another case of 7C.P. 40, Nos. 272 m. 77d; 274, m. 137; 275, m. 298; 277, m. 249d.

268 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 trespass shows five stages after the issue of the venire facias to the sheriff to summon a jury. There is an essoin on the part of the defendant, two writs of distringas, two adjournments of the jury in respite.? A case of debt shows eight stages ending in Michaelmas of the fifth year, all the result of defaults, with the consequent writs of distringas, with the exception

of one sine die when the justices in Michaelmas term of the third year failed to appear and a consequent resummons was necessary.? The jury was put in respite four times in a writ of dower.” Of the cases so far listed no conclusion has been found. Cases for the recovery of land show a shorter procedure and usually are followed by results. If the defendant does not come, the land is taken into the king’s

hand by writ of cape; the sheriff returns on the dorse of the writ the day of taking, and on the third default the recovery is awarded by the court and the defendant is amerced. Thus in a case brought on a cui in vita, a Cape is issued on the first default, another on the second, and on the third the sheriff returns the captio, the report on the taking over of the property, and a recovery with amercement is thereupon awarded.** The same procedure is followed in a case of dower.”

An interesting case of a different nature shows isi prius procedure in operation. A jury was summoned in an action of detinue by a clerk of an alleged £20 worth of chattels. An adjournment took place because the jury failed to appear and a summons was issued for a later day on which the justices were absent and a sine die resulted. A new writ of summons

was issued and the sheriff endorsed the writ to the effect that the de-

fendant had no lay chattels in his bailiwick whereby he could be distrained,

but was beneficed in the diocese of the bishop of Exeter. “Thereupon a venire facias was issued to the bishop to make the clerk appear. The bishop

failed to send the writ and the case was then referred to the wzs7 prius justices, and an award made to the plaintiff of the original £20 and thirteen marks of damages. The bishop was then ordered to sequestrate the whole

required amount from the clerk’s ecclesiastical chattels—surely a large sum for a clerk to have apart from the goods of his church. The bishop reports that he has sequestrated forty shillings worth but cannot find a purchaser, and on a later occasion, at the insistence of the court, reports that he has sequestrated sixty shillings worth more. The last item relating

to the case which I have succeeded in finding in the roll repeats the *C.P. 40, Nos. 270, m. 44; 272, m. 120d; 123d; 274, m. 137d; 275, m. 339d. °C.P. 40, Nos. 272, m. 77d; 274, m. 137; 275, m. 298; 277, m. 149d; 280, m. 70; 285, m. 207; 286, m. 154; 287, m. 387. 1°C.P. 40, Nos. 270, m. 22; 273, m. 75d; 274, m. 146d; 275, m. 248. ™ C.P. 40, Nos. 271, m. 16; 272, m. 14d; 274, m. 119d. 12.C,P. 40, Nos. 271, m. 16; 273, m. 73d; 274, m. 119d.

) The Court of Common Pleas 269 mandate to the bishop by a writ of fiert facias to find the rest of the sum in question.*®

The pursuit of cases begun or continued by writs in the first bundle is much facilitated in its earlier stages by the index of the plea rolls of the first two years which is on the shelves of the Round Room of the Public Record Office. For this restricted purpose, the index 1s very useful, giving

the names of the parties, the forms of action, the vills and counties involved, and the references to membranes. It gives, however, no further

information on procedural stages. For the study of later bundles of writs there is no help of this kind; and the plea rolls themselves are in general very much longer than those of the first two years, which, with one exception, are surprisingly short. A few illustrations may, however, be given of the later history of proceedings.

In a case of waste, summons of the defendant is followed by attachment, which, when unsuccessful in forcing an appearance at court, 1s followed by distraint and the writ to the sheriff to take twelve good men and view the damage done, and return the ‘view,’ the statement of the damage, to the court. View is then held and return made of the waste of one hall (aula) worth £10, two chambers (camere) of 100 s. each, a cookhouse worth £6; a grange worth £10 an ox-house worth 5 marks, a stable worth 100 s., a dovecote worth 40 s., one hundred oaks worth 18 d. each, forty ash worth 8 d. each, sixty apple trees worth 12 d. each, and twelve pear trees worth 2 s. each.** Attention may be called to the value for us of the economic details of such cases of waste. Again in a case of warranty, the

defendant fails to produce the warrantor of two hundred acres of arable

land, thirty acres of wood, 60 s. rent, the pasture of ten oxen, of two plough beasts (affrz) and two hundred sheep. Distraints in this case extending even to the taking of all possessions bring no conclusions.'> A case from Queen Isabella’s court of the liberty of Cookham and Bray in Berkshire was called into common pleas and a single writ of distress was issued by the bailiff of the liberty for all suitors. The bailiff was here considered to have acted mnus sufficienter, individual writs being considered essential, and hence he was amerced.?® Again, Hugh de Plescy, plaintiff in a quod permittat for an advowson of a church in West Wittenham, Berks, in excuse for a default which had resulted in a decision being rendered against him, claims that the abbot, *°C.P. 40, Nos. 270, m. 43d; 272, m. 111; 273, m. 97; 276, m. 200d; 281, m. 234; 283, m. 467; 287, m. 35d. **C.P. 40, Nos. 282, m. 242; 283, m. 195; 286, m. 297; 304, m. 113. ~ CP. 40, Nos. 277, m. 86; 280, m. 44d; 226; Cf. 280, m. 19. The prices of trees often mentioned. *°C.P. 40, No. 277, m. 223d.

270 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 defendant in the present case, had maliciously caused a writ to be issued in his, Hugh’s, name, summoning the abbot. Of this summons issued to his opponent, Hugh was in entire ignorance, according to his own statement, and when the case was called into court he naturally failed to appear to prosecute, and so award was made for the abbot. The decision against Hugh was, however, upheld.*” Several other cases, not necessarily connected with Berkshire, could be mentioned. In one a large debt had been

remitted by the creditor. Thereafter the original debtor died and the creditor tried to collect from the heir but could not do so against his own deed.** Cases of outlawry for failure to appear in court are fairly common. One such case shows Walter de Wegenholt, senior, proclaimed at four county courts at the last of which pledges appeared for him. At the fifth court he was alleged to have appeared and was committed to prison. The case in common pleas turns on the charge that the prisoner is not Walter, the father, but Walter, his son, and a charge of falsitas and deceptio is made.*® Another defendant outlawed for non-appearance could not come because at the time he claims that he was in the king’s bench prison of the marshalsea on an appeal of robbery.”° Again, a number of cases show the inter-relation of courts. Courts Christian have jurisdiction over marriage and morals. In a case relating

to land it is declared that a bastard cannot inherit. This dictum is not questioned, but it is claimed that in a previous case carried to a court of the bishop of Bath and Wells, which had been convoked for the special occasion, the person in question was declared legitimate and the plea of bastardy need not now be revived against him because aliquis semel inventus legitimus nunquam in posterum bastardari potest." The bishops are frequently called upon to put judicial machinery into operation in order to sequestrate required amounts of ecclesiastical chattels of a clerk beneficed in a diocese.?”? The writ of recordum fiert facias loquele appears often, summoning into the common pleas the records from other courts. A number of instances occur in the bundles of writs

of records of replevin cases summoned from the county courts. The record as given seems to be a mere memorandum from the court, very brief and without details. The sheriff by the writ is ordered to take good 17 (Citation omitted in Miss Neilson’s typescript]. 8 CP. 40, No. 296, m. 128. 1° C.P. 40, No. 282, m. 250.

0C.P. 40, No. 286, m. 277. 7 C.P. 40, No. 308, m. 363. The decision might be questioned if he was found legitimate, for he might have been born before marriage. See Norma Adams in the Toronto Law Journal, Lent Term 1946. 7° C.P. 40, No. 281, m. 7d.

The Court of Common Pleas 271 men and go to the county court and get the record and bring it properly sealed to common pleas. Does then the county court keep a record or - memorandum of any kind which may be transcribed in such cases? If so, it is singularly brief. Is the record that appears simply a memorandum taken from memory, and what is the reason that no records of other cases than those of replevin are so called for? Summons into court of records emanating from a liberty and other private courts of record are of course common enough.”* One case shows a tenant claiming to hold his tenement by common law and not by custom and so stopping further proceedings in a private court, a reminder of the ancient demesne case already mentioned.”* Cases from assize courts and the general eyres of the decade can best be treated by the commentator on such jurisdictions. Many cases

from the eyres in Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, and Northamptonshire will be found on the rolls of years in which they were held. Cases of earlier date held in the bench are called into court usually by certiorari.?> Occasionally cases are referred to or from the king’s bench to the common pleas and there are indications that the lines of demarcation between the jurisdictions of these two courts, were not always very clearly marked or consistently observed. ‘Trespass was a very common form of action in common pleas as in king’s bench, and its great place amongst forms of action in the bench will be indicated in the analysis of a particular roll that follows. Again an assize was, on one occasion, brought into the king’s bench on a writ of error, the error being assigned in the naming of the sheriff and his deputy, and the original judgment was annulled. Again in another assize case, error was assigned in the description of the land, and the case was then taken to the king’s bench where the king’s writ stayed proceedings until a perambulation between two counties had been made.”® An interesting case was pending in both courts at the same

time and will be considered under king’s bench. : Analysis of the Roll of Hilary Terit, 1332 The general character of the business done by the court in a single term can be seen by a brief analysis made of the content of one roll. The roll of Hilary 1332°7 has been chosen at haphazard. It conforms to the

usual size and type of roll of the period. The frequent occurrence of names of certain counties or groups of counties over certain specific 29C.P. 40, Nos. 277, m. 223d; 280, m. 311d; 203d, 200; 283, m. 414. *4C.P. 40, No. 308, m. 280. °° For example, C.P. 40, Nos. 280, m. 200; 286, m. 213d. 7° C.P. 40, No. 308, m. 455d.

27C.P. 40, No. 288. ,

272 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 signatures 1s noticeable here as in other rolls. Thus on the membranes signed by Ludington, the chief clerk of the court, the great preponderance of cases is from Yorkshire. Many of his membranes contain only Yorkshire cases; a few add sporadic cases from other counties, Lincoln, Lancashire, Cumberland, Gloucester, Essex, Wiltshire. Braund’s signature is on many membranes where are cases predominantly from Surrey, Sussex, and Kent. Elyngham’s cases come mainly from London, Middlesex, and

Cambridge; Tutington’s from Essex and Hertford; Hoo’s from Devon, Wiltshire, and Southampton, but in all these instances there is a small number of cases from other counties as well. Wauclyn’s cases come from Dorset, Southampton, and Somerset with a scattering from other counties. Bokekesham’s come from Suffolk predominantly, with a scattering from

Lincoln and Yorkshire; Hillary’s from Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, and Shropshire, with a considerable additional scattering; Gisleborough’s from Norfolk with a large scattering; Langchester’s from

Norfolk with a wide scattering of western counties; Ashburne’s from Lincoln and with a wide scattering; Herleston’s with a slight preponderance of cases from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire; and Rook and Malghum with so wide a scattering that it seems unwise to try to find a special county nucleus. Probably no relationship can be established at this time between longer cases actually coming to trial and any of the signatures. Long cases may

be entered on rolls bearing any signatures. It is also difficult to see any reason for the order in which the rolls of different signatures themselves

are arranged under given dates; in fact the dates themselves are not always carefully regarded. The lines of division 1n this particular roll are as follows:—mm. 1-72, the octave of St Hilary; mm. 73-165, the quindene of Hilary; mm. 166-185, the morrow of Purification; mm. 186-187, the quindene of Hilary; mm. 188-219, the morrow of Purification; mm. 220363, the quindene of Hilary; mm. 364-365, the octave of Purification.*® Possibly the apparent lack of system in constituting the roll was due to

the fact that the clerks actually used, for convenience in working with the roll, the bundles of writs for specific term days rather than the membranes themselves, and that the filacers were careless. It seems clear, as has

been said, that improvement in the form and composition of the roll was 28 An analysis of the dates of membranes of a later roll, No. 296 (Michaelmas, 7th year) shows still greater confusion: from mm. 1 to 51 the octave of Michaelmas; 52 and 53 the quindene or octave of St Hilary, another term, or 54-87, octave or quindene of Michaelmas; 88, 93, 114 the quindene of St Hilary; 94-138 the quindene or octave of Michaelmas; 139-234, the quindene, three weeks, or month of Michaelmas; 255-460 the morrow of Souls and the morrow of St Martin. The octave and quindene of St Martin appear irregularly.

The Court of Common Pleas 273 very much needed, and also a greater elaboration of the secretarial procedure of the court.

There are entered on the particular roll under consideration some 6000 cases, at various stages of procedure. Some of these entries may, it

| is true, refer to one and the same case, but not, I think, a very large number, as the day given by the court for the continuance of a case falls

usually in the next or a later term and would be entered on the roll of that term. By far the greater number of entries are very short. The plaintiff appeared (optulit se) on the fourth day and the defendant failed to come, and a later day is assigned the parties by the court with a mandate to the sheriff to deliver some writ sufficient to assure the defendant’s ap-

pearance. The number of such optulit se cases is very large indeed; in the first fifty membranes, front and dorse, for example, there are 652 cases beginning optulit se; and very few others showing summons or attachment of the defendant, 31 seeking land or rent; 34 of juries put in respite; 30 of orders to the sheriff to issue writs of venire facias, distringas, capias, habeas corpus, fiert facias and view; seven entries of recognition of debt, and 24 licentie concordandi with a small scattering of other items, such as mandates to bishops and qui tulit breve. Again, membranes 275-

325 give 311 instances of optulit se, 29 cases in the shape of juries in respite, 4 of seeking land, 25 orders to sheriffs to issue writs, 20 days are given; there is an occasional summons, and a scattering of miscellaneous

entries. It 1s clear, therefore, that many cases had reached only the early optulit se stage, where the defendant had not yet been forced by process

into court, or having come once, had failed to appear later. A greater proportion of long cases appear in this second section of the roll than in the first. The whole number of entries on the roll, approximately 6000, may be classified according to forms of action. While possibly not exact, these figures are sufficiently accurate, it is hoped, to give an idea of the relative importance of different actions. By far the most numerous cases are those in which the plaintiff counts that the defendant, his bailiff, or receptor denariorum, has not rendered to him a reasonable account of moneys held or collected by him. There are over 1550 of these cases listed, about evenly divided between the two types of defendants, 1.e., bailiffs and receivers. In the latter part of the next century, it will be noticed, such actions have

decreased in number in relation to the growth of the action of debt. It is not easy to see why the cases of account should have lessened, or perhaps

rather why they should be so numerous in this decade. ‘The action of debt furnishes the next greatest number of cases, just under 1000. The defendant here is accused of owing and unjustly detaining certain sums

274 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 of money. If he does not appear, process is issued against him. Next in number come the actions of detinue, which may be of money, chattels, written charters, or the like, cases of which amount in all to about 500. Actions of trespass amount to about the same total. These four forms of action include about half the total number of cases entered on the roll. Although they are, as a rule, short, some few longer cases are included

amongst them. Very numerous also are the pleas of land of various kinds where the complainant seeks the land as right, or by writ of entry— formedon, cui in vita, ad terminum cut preterit, post dinussionem, post disseisin, writs of ael, consanguinitas and the like—amounting in all to

some 400, and, if dower be included, to 250 more. Of the remaining cases, the largest number are of replevin, about 160; vouching to warranty,

about 140; covenant (tenere conventionem), about 100; rent in arrears, about 90; waste, about 85; mesne, about 40; wardship and custody of heir, about 40; cessavit per biennium, about 30. ‘There is a scattering of other cases; 20 of quod permittat—usually the quare impedit for the presentment of a parson, but occasionally for pasture or for a mill; neifty, 6; assizes of utrum, mort d’ancestor, novel disseisin, darrein presentiient, about 20 in all, and 4 customs and services. Large numbers of licentie concordandi are recorded on certain membranes. A number of recognizances of debt are included, in all something over 100; days are given; and many juries are put in respite because of failure to attend. There are also many writs enrolled on the record enjoining various duties on the sheriff, the most common being distringas, capias, venire facias, scire facias, fieri facias, tenere conventionem, and recordum fieri loquele, the last being the interesting writ whereby transcripts of cases, for example, of replevin, are sometimes called from other courts. Mandates to bishops to sequestrate

the goods of clerks in their dioceses who have no lay chattels and to produce the necessary money equivalent are fairly frequent. Some of the longer cases on the roll are of a good deal of interest in themselves, and are also illustrative of the kind of legal activity in which the court moved. Few of the enrollments reach a great length, very rarely exceeding the front or dorse of a membrane. Cases of the next century, it will be remembered, are often much longer. As has been said, there seems little if any correspondence between the signature on the membrane, and the occurrence of the long cases. Decisions of the court are reached comparatively rarely; most cases are simply continued to another term.”° Reference to the Year Book entries is often enlightening as to why no decision has been reached. especially is this true in the case of distraints of chattels to a given value.

The Court of Common Pleas 275 Many of the longer cases show the delays of the law and afford information on interesting matters of procedure. Thus in 18 Edward II _ a messuage and a considerable tenement in Yorkshire were sought. The claimants came to court and both parties referred the matter to a jury. | ‘The jury was put in respite, however, for several terms, and then the case went without day because Edward II “demised the regimen of the kingdom.’ A summons was next issued and the case was brought into court again in Hilary term of 3 Edward III. The plaintiff appeared, the defendant essoined, and then a second time essoined as on the king’s service.

Thereafter the defendant made default. The sheriff was thereupon ordered by the grand cape to resummon, and to take the tenement into the king’s hand. The sheriff declared that he had done nothing because the writ was tarde in reaching him, and again the resummons was issued. Both parties to the suit then appeared and a jury was summoned, but was put in respite until a date later than our roll; and here we leave the case.®° Good reasons for some of the many defaults are sometimes given,—for example, the defendant declares that he was in an inn in Pontefract where a quarrel (contentio) arose between the people of the countryside and the outsiders (extranez) present, as the result of which one man of the vill was wounded severely. “he hue was raised and the defendant together with the outsiders was taken and put in prison and was there when he should

have appeared at court. A venire facias for a jury was then issued, and apparently the decision was rendered against the validity of the excuse offered.

Again procedure is interesting in a long and complicated case.** A jury of 24 men was called to decide regarding an alleged false oath of a jury of the first inquisition, that is to say the jury which had, in the time of Edward II, already decided a case regarding the right to land and rent. A hearing of the record of the case is called for and the original roll is read, showing a claim made that the tenant of the land had alienated to another person and had not therefore died seised, and that the descendant of the person to whom the alienation was made, claimed by right the seisin of the property. The case had gone to the jury in the time of Edward II and had been delayed several times until 20 Edward IT when the parties went without day on the demise of the king from the regimen of the kingdom. Then a summons was issued for Hilary, 2 Edward ILI, and process was then continued by several respites until both parties came and were adjourned at 27st prius to a court held in Lincolnshire before John de Mutford on the day of St Peter in the Cathedral of the third year. This °°m. 169.

Sm. 312d.

276 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 court was held, but thereafter John de Mutford died, and the king commanded that all his documents, ‘memoranda, records, processes, inquisitions, juries, recognizances, verdicts,’ be sent to the chancery, and they were so sent in a little sack (saculum) and amongst them was the verdict in the case in question, rendered in favour of the tenant against the petitioner who was in mercy. A charge of false oath was thereupon brought against the yury who had given the verdict; the case was postponed be- _ cause of failure of the jury to appear and a writ of distraint against them was issued. The final decision in the case is left to a still later time outside the decade. Many deeds (scripta) are mentioned in the pleadings, and their authenticity is often called in question. In several cases witnesses named in the deed—seven are named in one deed—are called to act with the

jury in giving a verdict.*? Any light like this on the methods of securing evidence is important.**

Often the question arises whether a given case shall be tried Solonque la ley de terre ou solonque la ley de saynt Esglise. A vicar of a Yorkshire church, for example, was attached to reply in the bench on the plea quare cum placita de transgressionibus contra pacem regis in regno regis factis

ad regem et coronam et dignitatem regis et non ad alium pertineant in eodem regno. He had brought a case in court Christian against the royal prohibition. ‘The reason he gave was that the assault was made in a church, in the presence of officers of the archbishop of York.** Several interesting

cases of excommunication are mentioned. The bishop of Carlisle and others were attached to reply to the prior of St Mary’s, Carlisle, in a case of trespass de bonis asportatis, for hay, wool, butter, and cheese taken, to the value of £100. The bishop claimed that he need not answer because the prior was excommunicated, and the prior claimed that the excommunication was issued against him by the bishop himself in order to keep him out of court. The prior’s contention seems to be upheld, as the case goes to the jury for a verdict on the charge of trespass.**° The king issues pro-

hibitions against the trial of men in court Christian for debt in matters not testamentary or matrimonial. A case in London gives a very interesting list of many London churches, St Bride of Fleet Street, St Mary of Bridge Street, St Stephen of Walbrook, St Peter of Cornhill, St Benedict of Garschurch, St James of Garlickhythe, St Michael of Heggeston, st Botolph of Bishopsgate, All Saints of the London Wall, St Alphege 82 mm. 97, 127d.

** King’s protection plays a part in delays of cases. We learn from No. 304, m. 14 that it is not sufficient cause for delay in cases of right, in some cases, in novel disseisin and quare impedit. 941m. 344.

77mm. 344, 284.

The Court of Common Pleas 277 of Cripplegate, St Mildred in Poultry, St Dunstan in Fleet Street, St Anthony of London, St Martin in Vintry.*° Other courts, too, are often involved in the common plea causes. — Ancient demesne land was usually regarded as privileged in that the power of its tenants to use the little writ of right close and the monstraverunt was recognized. On the other hand, it may be contrasted unfavorably with free fee at common law.®" A court leet in Norfolk holds a case of replevin where the taking of three cows, one for each of three offences, is avowed as distress of a man resident in the leet. He had refused to appear and had been amerced by his peers; he had also maliciously drawn a knife, and had also made default.** The defendant summoned to common pleas does not

| appear and the avowant keeps the cows as irreplegiabiles. Another case came to the bench for settlement where the bailiff whose duty it was to hold a court at Ja crosse on the king’s highway had been impeded in his duty and forced to leave, by threats and assaults ‘against the law and custom of the kingdom.’*® The numerous cases brought up from the Bedford

eyre belong properly with the discussion of that eyre. Nisi prius proceedings, as has been shown, are often recognized. A good example is that

of a jury put in respite and then given a day in Trinity term unless J. Travers is in York on Monday after the feast of St Gregory. J. Travers reports, however, that the defendant did not come [in time?] for the case to be held in his York session. —The tenements are therefore to be taken into the king’s hands and the parties to come to the bench in Trinity term to hear judgment.*° Often the records of earlier cases in the bench are called into court. Several turn on the statute cessavit per biennium*' and others on the Magna

Carta provision against the taking of plough beasts for distress, if others are available.** In another case it is stated that the precipe clause of Magna Carta is violated. Cases of waste are of interest in the glimpses they sometimes give of economic conditions.** The record of a case of outlawry was desired by the king’s bench, and a writ of certiorari was sent to Stonor to send up the proceedings against a certain Ingelrann of Oxfordshire, as they were inscribed on the roll of the bench of Trinity 4th year. The record states that his outlawry had occurred in a case of trespass where 58m. 347.

97m. 260d. 38m. 312.

°°m. 303. |

*°mm. 32d, 40d, 97. **mm. 97d, 156d, 174d, 357d. Cf. No. 296, m. 186d. ‘2m. 67d. *®mm. 31d, 36d, 283d, 297d.

278 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 one defendant was dead and some of the others did not come and were therefore put on the exigent. The proclamations in five county courts

did not bring them and they were therefore outlawed. One of them, Ingelrann, now petitions against the decree on the ground that he was in Corfe castle in the custody of John Mautravers as the result of his adhesion to Edmund of Kent. His outlawry was annulled, and he was restored to the common law and had a writ to the sheriff and coroner. The king’s bench orders an inquest into the goods of the other defendants. A number of cases turn on the wardship of heirs and will be found important for the interpretation of royal prerogative, for prerogativa regis vous ne poetes mye faire semblaunce au roy dauter common persone.** As was stated at the beginning of the paper, no attempt has been made at completeness and no assurance can be given that important cases within

the decade have not been passed over. I should like to reiterate, in view of the evident value for law and history of the records of this great court, the very real difficulty I have experienced in deciding how the contents of the rolls of the court, or even a2 modicum of their contents, can best be made available. It has seemed to me that the rolls of this particular period present this general question in especially difficult form, since they are as a rule, of very considerable length, and have not yet received the more consistent and reasonable format of the later fifteenthcentury rolls. It may be that for the modern historian, as for the clerk of

old, the bundles of writs when calendared or indexed by the Public Record Office may prove of real help, but, even so, the question of approach to an unmanageable but indispensable mass of material will remain.

One experiment which I have made offers some possibilities of return, the analysis of rolls of a given year or a term of a year, made often or at regular intervals of perhaps twenty-five or fifty years. Could not perhaps some valuable evidences of legal development be gained from such studies? It would, it is true, be at the expense of much labor. ** YB. case 29, 18, 17. [Sic. in Miss Neilson’s typescript. There is no “case 29” in Y.B., Hilary term 1332, nor a “case 18” for 29 Edward IJI.] An important case entered on roll No. 296 m. 226 in Michaelmas term in the 7th year shows the interaction of common law and local custom in a liberty. It has to do with the tin mines in Cornwall and is based on a claim for damages in a case for the throwing up of earth from a mine on grass and into water and impeding of a mill. The plea is entered that the king has all mines in the country i7 alieno solo et dominicis terris, and by the custom of the county miners may enter any soil and dig for tin wherever a penny half-penny worth is collectable during

a day and the king can take from every wzliarum of white tin 40 s. for coinage. The

plaintiff denies that a tin miner can dig in another’s soil except by agreement for a certain sum in soil already mined, or an agreed sum elsewhere.


1. Officers of the Court. A. Justices of the common pleas and meeting places of the court, 1327-1336.

1327. Place: Westminster during Hilary, Easter, and Trinity terms. York during Michaelmas term.’

Justices: William de Herle, C. J., appointed 29 January in succession to Hervey de Stanton.’ On 4 February he received a grant of 240 marks over and above the regular 60 marks of his salary in order that he might ‘support his office.” In this year he was sent to treat with the Scots.‘ Henry le Scrope as second justice; but he received no money, and is not

, mentioned in the Feet of Fines.° John de Mutford.°®

John de Stonor.’ John de Bourchier.* 1328. Place: York in all terms.’

Justices: William de Herle, C. J. He received the same stipend as in the pre-

ceding year.’® He was sent to the parliament at Northampton, Stonor , taking his place on the bench.” John de Mutford.””

John de Stonor. John de Bourchier. Henry le Scrope. Richard de Willoughby.” 1329. Place: York in Hilary term;'* Westminster throughout the rest of the year.*® Justices: William de Herle, C. J. until 3 September.*® John de Stonor, C. J. on 3 September when Herle was ordered to make delivery to him. Herle was appointed justice of assize on the same date and served as chief justice of the eyre in Nottinghamshire, at a lower fee.*” *C.C.R. 1327-1330, 161. Order for removal on 18 August. See Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas, C.P. 40, Nos. 268, 269, 270, 271.

2C.P.R. 1327-1330, 2. |

’ Tbid., Liberate Rolls, 104, mm. 2, 4, 8.

*C.C.R. 1327-1330, 265.

5C.P.R. 1327-1330, 7. ©C.P.R. 1327-1330, 2. * Tbid., C.C.R. 1327-1330, 161. 8 Tbid.

"C.P. 40, Nos. 272, 273, 275; C.C.R. 1327-1330, 325, 165. *’ Liberate Roll, 105, mm. p. 7. C.C.R. 1327-1330, 328, 376.

“For the socz compare Liberate Roll 105, and Feet of Fines. CPLR, 1327-1330, 247. **C.P. 40, Nos. 276, 277, 278, 279. *° C.C.R. 1527-1330, 325. (Order for removal from York in October). © C.C.R. 1327-1330, 493, C.P.R. 1327-1330, 439; Liberate Roll, 106. 17. C.P.R. 1327-1330, 480.

280 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 John de Stonor until his advancement. John de Bourchier.**

John ‘Travers, appointed 2 March.” Richard de Willoughby added for Michaelmas term.” Henry le Scope called muper in the Liberate Roll but not listed in the Feet of Fines, except for the quindene of Martinmas.” Thomas Bacon, appointed 29 December.”

1330. Place: Westminster throughout the year.” Justices: John de Stonor, C. J.** (Herle on eyre in Nottinghamshire and

Derbyshire). ,

king’s bench.”

John Travers.”°

Richard de Willoughby.** At the end of the year he was removed to the 1331. Place: Westminster throughout the year.” Justices: John de Stonor, C. J.” William de Herle, C. J., 2 March.*° John de Stonor (returning as socius in Easter term).” John de Cantebrigge.” John Travers during Hilary term.” John Inge.” Robert de Malberthorpe beginning in Easter term.”

1332. Place: Westminster throughout the year.” Justices: William de Herle, C. J.*° 18 Liberate Roll, 106. 19 Liberate Roll, 106; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 377. 2° Liberate Roll, 107. *1 Liberate Roll, 106.

72 C.P.R. 1327-1330, 466. He received attorneys im patria. Foss says he was appointed

to the king’s bench 28 January 1332. In Hilary term of the fifth year he appears as counsel, not justice. 73 C.P. 40, Nos. 280, 281, 282, 283. *4 Liberate Roll 107; Feet of Fines. 25 CPLR. 1327-1330, 521, 534.

76 See Liberate Roll and Fect of Fines. *" Bacon is not mentioned, and John de Mutford has died (C.C.R. 1327-1330, 545). 2° C.P. 40, Nos. 284, 285, 286, 287.

°° Feet of Fines and Liberate Roll; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 102.

°° C.J. in eyre in Derbyshire, Issue Roll E 403, No. 253, 1; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 78, Liberate Roll 112; Issue Roll C 62/113. ** See Feet of Fines; Liberate Roll, and C.P. 40/284 m. 19. 2 Ibid. and C.P.R. 1330-1334, 43. °3 Feet of Fines; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 43.

34 C.P. 40, Nos. 288, 289, 290, 291, 292 (two rolls for Easter term). *> Liberate Roll 109, and Feet of Fines.

The Court of Common Pleas 281 Hilary term: John de Stonor.*° John de Cantebrigge.*°

, John Inge.”

Later terms of the year show the same with the addition of John de Shardelowe* and Richard de Aldeburgh.”

1333, Place: Westminster during Hilary, Easter, and Trinity terms.“ In Michaelmas term the court sat at York.” Justices: William de Herle, C. J. until 18 November.“ Henry le Scrope, C. J. after 18 November.” First three terms, John de Stonor.** John de Cantebrigge. John Inge. John de Shardelowe. Richard de Aldeburgh.“ Michaelmas term, the same with the addition of William de Shareshull.**

1334. Place: York throughout the year.“ , Justices: William de Herle, C. J.*° John de Stonor.” John de Cantebrigge.*® John Inge.*°

John de Shardelowe. | Richard de Aldeburgh through the first three terms.” William Shareshull.*’

1335. Place: York throughout the year.* Justices: William de Herle, C. J. through Trinity term. Permission was then granted him to rest after his long service in two reigns, but he was to remain on the king’s secret council and to attend in parliament and in

council on summons.” .

8° Ibid.

81 Ibid. and C.C.R. 1330-1333, 566.

°° C.P.R. 1330-1334, 243, 28 January 1332. He must therefore have sat for a portion of Hilary term which lasted from 23 January to 12 February. 8° Tbid., 1330-1334, 247.

*°C.P. 40, Nos. 293, 294, 295, 296. 41C.P. 40, No. 296; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 412 (Feb. 20). 42. C.P.R. 1330-1334, 477, 482.

*° C.P.R. 1330-1334, 482, Liberate Roll 111; Feet of Fines; Issue Roll E 403, No. 265. 44CP.R. 1330-1334, 436.

*°C.P. 40, Nos. 297, 298, 299, 300. : ‘ST iberate Roll 112; Feet of Fines. *7 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 510; Liberate Roll, and Feet of Fines.

*8 C.P.R. 1330-1334, 506, Liberate Roll and Feet of Fines. | *°C.P. 40, Nos. 301, 302, 303, 304. °° C\P.R. 1334-1338, 153, Liberate Roll 113, and Feet of Fines.

282 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 Hilary term: John de Stonor. William de Shareshull. John Inge. John de Shardelowe. John de Trevaignon. Richard de Aldeburgh. Easter term: the same with the omission of Aldeburgh and the addition of Cantebrigge.

Trinity term: the same with the omission of Cantebrigge and the addition of Aldeburgh. Michaelmas term: the same with the omission of Stonor, now chief justice and of Trevaignon, deceased by 30 October.” 1336. Place: York throughout the year.”

Justices: John de Stonor, C. J.™

William de Shareshull. John Inge. John de Shardelowe. Richard de Aldeburgh.”° B. Certain other officers mentioned in the documents of the decade examined. The keepers of rolls and writs, chief clerks of the bench.

John Shoreditch received ten marks a year in the time of Edward II.” Peter de Ludyngton, 8 October 1327, received annually the salary of ten marks,” until in 1335 he succeeded to the office in the king’s bench, prosecuting and defending, and receiving there 100 s. a year.** He arranged for the transfer of rolls

and writs to York when the court moved, and saw to it that the sheriffs in

London prepared barrels, that the officers of the exchequer helped him arrange the rolls, and that the sheriff in York repaired the houses where the court was to sit. He appears in many cases in the rolls as the custodian of rolls and writs and scripts and other documents produced in court and necessary to the conduct of the cases.*°

Adam de Steyngrave is mentioned in 1330 as king’s clerk, receiving from Ludyng52 See Liberate Roll 113, and Feet of Fines; also Issue Roll, E 403, No. 285 (executors

of his will).

°° C.P. 40, Nos. 305, 306, 307, 308.

54See Liberate Roll 114, and Feet of Fines. Provision is made for Herle, C. J., retired; see Liberate Rolls and also Issue Roll, E 403, No. 285. °° Liberate Roll and Feet of Fines. °° Liberate Roll, 104. St Ibid., 1, C.C.R. 1327-1330, 325; C.P.R. 1327-1330, 17. 5° C.P. 40, No. 284, m. 93; Issue Roll, E 403, No. 265. °° C.C.R. 1327-1330, 325, 161. (He is to be at Westminster on Sunday before the Nativity

of the Virgin and the officers of the exchequer are to be there also). The sheriffs of London are to have barrels and chests ready. Cf. C.C.R. 1333-1337, 19. °°C.P. 40, No. 284 m. 97, 296 m. 268.

The Court of Common Pleas 283 ton documents necessary for an eyre.” In June of the same year he was commanded to send all pleas begun in Northamptonshire to Peter de Ludyngton.” On 14 July 1334 he was appointed to the custody of rolls and writs of the bench and William de Poynton and William de Burgo were told to deliver to him, and the justices were told to admit him.* Ludyngton received his salary through Faster 1334. No salary is recorded for Michaelmas term, and Adam is paid in 1335 and thereafter.” Serjeants and Narratores. John de Cantebrigge, 24 June 1328; one of the king’s serjeants ‘In matters concerning him’ in the common bench and the king’s bench (made justice of the common bench in 1331).°

William de Shareshull, 10 December 1330, has a writ to the justices of both benches to admit him as one of the king’s serjeants (made justice in May 1333).°°

William de Denham, 8 February 1331, has a writ to the justices of both benches to admit him as king’s serjeant in matters pertaining to the king.” Richard de Aldeburgh, serviens attending to the king’s legal business in Worcester®* until made justice in 1332.

John de Trevaignon® until made justice in 1334.

William de Hopton.” The word zarratores is rarely used—but Thomas de Lincoln, Robert de Asshele, Robert de Sadyngton and Hugh de Plescy are so designated.”

Attorneys and Filacers. |

Very many attorneys are mentioned in the roll, litigants appearing usually in court by their attorneys. In view of the long distances from Westminster often indicated and the extreme slowness of judicial procedure, it is clear that to require individual appearances on the part of the litigants would often have worked a great hardship. Special rotulets called the rolls of attorneys, citing the attorneys received by the court in a particular term, and the litigants for whom they appeared are filed at the end of the roll of the term and sometimes run over as many as twenty membranes written on both sides. Attorneys had to be formally received by the court, either by the chief justice at Westminster, or

1 C.C.R. 1330-1333, 31. |

© Ibid., 158.

8° C.P.R. 1330-1334, 562; C.P. 40, No. 296 m. 268: Custos brevium nostroruz. °4 Liberate Roll, [Issue Roll? ] E. 403, No. 285: Custos rotulorum et brevium de communi banco. °5 C.C.R. 1327-1330, 296, C.P.R. 1330-1334, 43, 506. °°C.C.R. 1330-1333, 78; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 436.

Liberate Rolls, 108, 111; C.P. 40, No. 284, m. 292 d.: sit unus servientiui nostrorum in negotls que nos tangunt. *" C.C.R. 1330-1333, 190, 30 (to lay aside all things and be the king’s serjeant in the eyre); Liberate Rolls, Nos. 108, 109; Issue Roll E 403, No. 254. °8 Liberate Rolls, Nos. 106, 107. °° Liberate Rolls, No. 105; C.P.R. 1334-1338, 12. *° Liberate Roll 113; Issue Roll E 403, No. 285. ™ CLP. 40, Nos. 282, m. 185; 284 m. 1; 287, m. 43.

284 The English Government at Work, 1327-1336 at this time, by his associate justices sitting in patria. Thus in the roll of attorneys concluding the court roll of Michaelmas term 1331" receptions are entered as

made by Herle and his soci, by Inge, Willoughby, Cantebrigge, and Malberthorpe im patria, possibly by Herle im patria, and by Redenhale who was not then a justice. Similar information is contained in the other rolls, special groups of counties being served by different justices. Pledges were usually included with the attorneys in patria admissi. Litigants who appear frequently in the rolls are often represented by the same attorney. The post of attorney to the bishop of Crowland in his constant quarrels with the Wakes, for example, must have been a lucrative one.”* The essoin rolls give some additional identification of attorneys. Attorneys who sue for the king, prosecuting cases in which royal interests are involved, appear frequently, the most prominent in the decade being Husee, Keleby, Hadenham, and Lucas de Burgh.” The signatures which appear at the foot of almost every rotulet of the court record of pleas raise some question. They are those of attorneys, it is clear, but probably of attorneys acting in their capacity as filacers and not merely as attorneys or clerks of the court. Such men formed an important body of officers responsible for the compilation of the roll and having oversight over the actual writing of it. Later signatures, appearing sometimes in pictorial and rather childish form, would probably indicate that the actual writing was done by their clerks. —The carelessness with which the roll is often assembled, and the scattering of membranes belonging to the same return day is mentioned else-


Chirographer of the court. Robert de Foxton, grant of office to him in time of Edward II at the instance of Isabella.”* He surrendered the office, according to report, but later denied the

surrender, saying he was removed against his will in favor of Richard de Haukeslowe, and he applied for money compensation of £50 a year.”* Apparently this sum was granted him pending settlement. He received it from the farm of Northamptonshire in 1333-1334 and 1335."° Richard de Haukeslowe, appointed 6 February 1328, at the request of Roger de Mortimer in place of Foxton who had resigned the office.”* He was replaced when the Mortimers fell. John Shoreditch. On 4 June 1332, he received the office for life, protected by command that he be not disturbed therein by Richard de Foxton.” The roll of the court explains that the office was taken from Haukeslowe because it had been given him at the instance of Roger de Mortimer, rebel, and was then given to Shoreditch, and that two men, Walter de Weston and William Bertaille, were to act for Shoreditch until his return from overseas.*° 72C.P. 40, No. 287, cf. for example No. 296. 78C.P. 40, Nos. 296, mm. 71d, 104d, 136d, 145d; 304, m. 83. "Compare for example, Nos. 282, m. 155d; 284, mm. 4, 19d, 168d, 232d, 256; 296, m. 127; 308, m. 156d. See also C.P.R. 1327-1330, 6, C.C.R. 1327-1330, 76; Liberate Roll, 106, m. 6.

C.P.R. 1327-1330, 94.

7° Tbid., 1330-1334, 281, 308. , 77 C.C.R. 1333-1337, 386, Liberate Roll, No. 110, m. 6; Issue Roll, E 403, No. 265; he

receives £16 in part payment of his office as chirographer of common pleas. He had held the office temp. Edward II. 8 C\P.R. 1327-1330, 2, 229. 7° C\P.R. 1330-1334, 308.

8° C.P. 40, No. 284, m. 1.

The Court of Common Pleas 285 Crier and usher of the court. A post mortem inquest for Middlesex of 6 September 1332, following a writ of 6 August, describes the serjeanty held by John Daggeworth, deceased, which was at that time descending to Nicholas as his heir.** A document calendared in the Fine Roll for May 1333, pursuant to this inquest, shows that John held in chief the serjeanty of usher (ostigrius) of the exchequer, to which belonged the offices of crier and usher in the common bench and of marshal of ushers

and criers in all eyres and keepers (barrerarius) of the bar, by homage and fealty, and receipt of 5 d. a day, while the exchequer was open, at the hands of the chamberlains, and the due and usual fees.** Of this office in the exchequer, John had demised one half to Roger de Bedefeld and one half to John Dimmok for their lives, saving to him and his heirs the 5 d. a day and the offices in the eyres and the accompanying fees, and a fourth of the criership and ushership of the bench, of which he had demised the fourth to Nicholas, his son, for life. In October and November 1333 writs authorize the admission of Nicholas to the offices of marshal, usher, and barrerarius.** Cursores and contrarotulatores. References occur to numerous lesser officers of the court. Thus writs are fre-

quently carried by cursores to various counties, to the sheriffs, but it is not always clear whether they issue from the chancery, the exchequer, or the court. The chief information on this matter is in the Issue Rolls,°* where the bearing of writs to various counties in England, and to Ireland, is often mentioned. Daggeworth and heirs, the ushers of the exchequer, who were also ushers of the common pleas often appear, bearing and sealing writs (in one case as many as 1870) and summonses. Special writs and messages were carried by the king’s nuntii. Contrarotulatores who were four in number.” 81 Cal. Ing. P.M., VII, Nos. 435, 508; C.P. 40, No. 296, m. 17, royal writ to justices telling them of escheator’s inquest—full quotation.

2 CFR. IV, p. 362.

83 Ibid.; C.P.R. 1330-1334, 217, 328-329, C.C.R. 1333-1337, 137, 151. Compare Issue Roll

E 403, No. 285, showing sums given for carrying writs and summonses, a duty appurte-

nant to the office of usher of the exchequer, and for wax for sealing large numbers (1870) of writs, 296/(mch 7) no. 17 [?]. Cf. also Issue Roll E 403, No. 285, also No. 265: payments made to Daggeworth and his participes for carrying 69 summonses at 40 s. 6 d. and 57 writs at 69 s. 3 d. and large payments also for wax for sealing, etc. °4 Compare Issue Roll E 403, for example, and frequent mention in Nos. 253, 254, 256,

265, 285. . 88 [bid., No. 285.