36. BARONIAL RETURNS (1166)
(A) From the Archbishop of York
To his most beloved lord, Henry, by the grace of God king of England,
duke of Normandy and of Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, his Roger, by the same
grace archbishop of York and legate of the Apostolic See, greeting. Your
majesty has commanded that all your faithful men, both clerical and lay, who
hold of you in chief within Yorkshire, shall signify to you by their sealed
letters patent how many knights each of them has who were enfeoffed
by old enfeoffment in the time of King Henry, your grandfather, namely, on the
day and in the year that he was alive and dead; and how many he has who were
enfeoffed by new enfeoffment after the death of your said grandfather of
blessed memory; and how many knights are charged against the demesne of each.
And the names of all those men, both of the new enfeoffment and of the old, are
to be inscribed in that writ, because you wish that, if there are any who have
not yet sworn fealty to you and whose names are not yet inscribed in your roll,
they should swear fealty to you before the first Sunday of Lent. As one of
which [faithful men], being subject in all things to your command, I have with
all diligence, and in so far as the brevity of the time would permit, made
investigation within my tenement and by the present writing signify to you, my
lord, [the results].
Wherefore, my lord, be it known to you in the first place that no knight
is charged against the demesne of the archbishopric of York, since we have
enough knights enfeoffed through whom to perform all the service that we owe
you, as also our predecessors had; and we have more than we owe, as you may see
from the present writing. For our predecessors, not through necessity of the
service that we owe, but because they wished to provide for their relatives and
serjeants, enfeoffed more [knights] than they owed the king. Now these are the
names of those enfeoffed from the time of King Henry [I].... After
the death of King Henry, however, [the following men] were enfeoffed: Peter the
Steward with half a knight's fee; Earl Peter with the twentieth of a knight;
Geoffrey of Burton with the twelfth of a knight; Gervaise of Bretton with the
third of a knight. And since, my lord, of these there are some from whom I
demand more service than they are performing, while others are withholding what
is said to belong to the table (mensam) and demesne of the archbishop
rather than to those men themselves, I humbly ask that this writing shall not
be held against me or my successors if we are unable to restore or to retain
the rights of the church. Fare thee well, my lord!
(Latin) Liber Niger Scaccarii, pp. 303 f.
(B) From the Abbot of St. Albans
To his most benign lord, Henry, by the grace of God illustrious king of
the English, Brother Robert, humble minister of the church of St. Albans,
greeting and faithful service. With regard to the knights, whose number and
names you order reported to you in writing, we truthfully give you this
information. We have six knights enfeoffed from old enfeoffment of the time of
King Henry [I], but from new enfeoffment none. Nor have we any knight who
performs the full service of a knight except Hugh Wach, who holds of us one
knight's fee.... Our demesne, moreover, owes you no [knight]. May
Almighty God preserve to you in peace and for long the integrity of your
(Latin) Ibid., p. 244.
(C) From the Earl of Essex
To Henry, king of England, duke of Normandy and of Aquitaine, and count
of Anjou, Geoffrey, earl of Essex, greeting and faithful service. Know that the
names hereinunder written are those of the knights who hold of me by old
enfeoffment.... Total of the knights by old enfeoffment, ninety-seven knights
and the third of a knight. These are the names of the knights by new
enfeoffment.... Total of those newly enfeoffed.... And my men tell
me that I owe the king sixty knights.
(Latin) Ibid., pp. 228 f.
(D) From Baderon of Monmouth
To his lord, Henry, king of the English, Baderon of Monmouth, greeting.
Lord, I have heard your precept in the county [court] of Hereford: namely, that
I should notify you, signifying to you by my letters patent under seal, how
many knights I have who were enfeoffed by old enfeoffment. Accordingly,
prepared to obey your precept, I have noted their names as follows.... These
ten are of the old enfeoffment; of [knights] newly enfeoffed I have none.
Besides, I am bound to furnish you five [knights] from my demesne.
(Latin) Ibid., p. 152.
(E) From Gilbert of Pinkney
To his lord, the king, Gilbert of Pinkney gives this notification. It is
ascertained that I have eleven and a half knights enfeoffed by old enfeoffment
from the time of King Henry [I]: namely.... And afterwards, from my demesne, I
gave to Henry, my son, one knight's fee; and to Gilbert, my son, half a
knight's fee. In addition there remains against my demesne the service of two
(Latin) Ibid., p. 196.
(F) From Peter de la Mare
To Henry, by the grace of God king of the English, Peter de la Mare,
greeting. Be it known to you that, by your grace, I hold Lavington in demesne
for the service of two knights; but that I there have no knight enfeoffed,
either by old or by new [enfeoffment]. Farewell!
(Latin) Ibid., p. 113.
(G) From William of London
To his dearest lord, Henry, by the grace of God king of the English,
William of London, greeting. Know that I have no knight enfeoffed, either by
old or by new enfeoffment; but that I am bound to defend my fief through the
service of my body.
(Latin) Ibid., p. 113.
 On all problems of interpretation raised by these returns,
see Round, Feudal England, pp. 236 f.; also his Studies on the Red
Book of the Exchequer for criticism of the edition published in the Rolls
 Letters patent had the seal attached to a strip of
parchment run through the bottom of the document, so that it might be freely
opened. For letters close the strip was run through the folded document, so
that it should be read only by the person to whom it was addressed. Cf. no. 41
for examples of the difference in style. What here follows in the archbishop's
letter obviously reflects the terms of the king's original mandate.
 The text here lists 39 tenants with over 41 knight's
 Various lesser holdings are enumerated.
 Twelve knights plus a number of fractions.