(A) Articles for the General Eyre

In the first place, four knights are to be elected from the entire county, who on oath shall elect two lawful knights from each hundred or wapentake, and these two shall on oath elect ten [additional] knights — or free and lawful men, if knights are not available — from each hundred or wapentake; so that these twelve shall together make response concerning all the [following] articles for the entire hundred or wapentake.

1. Concerning the pleas of the crown, both old and new, and all those which have not yet been determined before the justices of the lord king.

2. Item, concerning all recognitions and all pleas which have been summoned before the justices by writ of the king or of his chief justice, or those which have been sent before them from the principal court of the king.

3. Item, concerning escheats, which now exist, and which occurred after the king set out for the land of Jerusalem, and which were then in the king's hands, and whether or not they are in his hands now; and concerning all escheats of the lord king, if they have been taken out of his hands, how and by whom [it was done] and into whose hands they have come, and who has thence had the revenue and how, what it was, what it has been worth, and what it is worth now; and if there has been any escheat which belongs to the lord king and which is not in his hands.

4. Item, concerning churches which are in the gift of the lord king.

5. Item, concerning the wardships over children to which the king is entitled.

6. Item, concerning the marriages of girls or widows to which the lord king is entitled.

7. Item, concerning malefactors and their receivers and confederates.

8. Item, concerning falsifiers.[1]

9. Item, concerning the slayers of Jews, who they are; and concerning the pledges of the slain Jews, and their chattels, lands, debts, and charters ...; and all the pledges and debts of the slain Jews shall be taken into the king's hands; and those who were present at the slaying of the Jews, and who have not yet fined with the lord king or his justices, shall be arrested and shall be freed only by the lord king or his justices.

10. Item, concerning all aids paid for the ransom of the lord king, who made promises and to what amount, how much he has paid and how much is in arrears.

11. Item, concerning the adherents of Earl John,[2] which ones have fined with the lord king and which have not.

12. Item, concerning the chattels of Earl John or of his adherents, which have not been confiscated for the use of the lord king, how much the sheriffs or their bailiffs have received, and who has bestowed anything contrary to the ancient customs of the kingdom.

13. Item, concerning all the lands of Earl John, his demesnes, wardships, escheats, and grants, and why the grants were made; and such grants of Earl John and all of them shall be taken into the lord king's hands, except those which have been confirmed by the king.

14. Item, concerning debts and fines which were owed to Earl John, and why; and all of them shall be exacted for the use of the lord king.

15. Item, concerning money-lenders who have died, and their chattels.

16. Item, concerning wines sold contrary to the assize and concerning false measures both of wine and of other things.

17. Item, concerning crusaders who died before setting out for Jerusalem, who has had their chattels and what and how many these are.

18. Item, concerning grand assizes,[3] which involve 100s. worth of land, and which less.

19. Item, concerning defaults.

20. Furthermore, in each county three knights and a clerk shall be elected as keepers of the crown pleas.[4]

21. And no sheriff shall be justice within his shrievalty or within any county that he has held since the first coronation of the lord king.

22. Furthermore, all the cities, boroughs, and demesnes of the lord king shall be tallaged.[5]

23. Moreover, the justices named[6]... shall cause to be summoned the knights of the county named in the roll to come on the day and to the place of which they shall make announcement, and in their presence they shall have those men swear to do all that is lawfully possible to restore the wardships and escheats of the lord king and to evaluate them for the advantage of the lord king, failing to do so for neither hate nor favour nor grace of any one.[7]...

24. All debts and pledges of Jews shall be enrolled, [also their] lands, houses, rents, and possessions. Moreover, a Jew who conceals any of these is to incur forfeiture to the lord king of his body and of what he has concealed, as well as of all his possessions and all his chattels. Nor shall it be permitted for the Jew ever to recover what he has concealed. Furthermore, six or seven places shall be provided, where [Jews] are to make their loans. And two lawful Christians, two lawful Jews, and two lawful scribes shall be provided, before whom and the clerk of William of St. Mary's Church and of William de Chimelli the loans are to be made. And the charters for the loans shall be made in the form of a chirograph:[8] one part, sealed with the seal of the borrower, to remain with the Jew; the other to remain in a common chest, on which are three locks. Of the keys to these locks the two Christians shall have one, the two Jews a second, and the clerk of William of St. Mary's Church and of William de Chimelli the third. And besides [there shall be on the chest] three seals; those having the keys shall affix their seals.[9] ... And henceforth no loan, no payment to Jews, and no change in the charters shall be made except in the presence of the aforesaid men or the majority of them, if all cannot be present. And the two Christians aforesaid shall have one receipt roll for payments henceforth to be made to Jews, and the two Jews shall have one, and the keeper of the roll [shall have] one. Furthermore, every Jew shall swear on his scroll[10] that he will enroll all his debts, pledges, and rents, and all his goods and possessions, and that he will conceal nothing, as aforesaid; and [that], if he should gain knowledge that any one has concealed anything, he will secretly reveal it to the justices on mission, that he will detect and denounce forgers of charters and clippers of coin whenever he learns of them, and [that he will act] in the same way with regard to the forged charters....

(Latin) Ibid., pp. 250 f.

(B) Excerpts from a Court Roll of 6 Richard I[11]

Wiltshire Pleas and Assizes.... The assize comes to make recognition whether Richard le Cras unlawfully and without judgment disseised Walter son of Philip of his free tenement in Melksham after the first coronation of the lord king. The jurors say that they do not know whether or not it is a free tenement. Let him ask other jurors if he wishes....

The assize comes to make recognition whether the prior of Farley unlawfully and without judgment disseised William Burnel of his free tenement in Penly after the first coronation of the lord king. The jurors say that the prior of Farley did disseise him of it. Judgment: William to have seisin of it and the prior [to be] in mercy....

The assize comes to make recognition whether Payn Burnel, uncle of Ralph de Berners, was seised in demesne as of his fee on the day that he died of one virgate of land with its appurtenances in Hillcot, and whether he died after the first coronation of Henry, the king's father, and whether Ralph is his nearest heir — which land is held by Henry de Berners. The jurors say that Payn was not seised of it on the day that he died. Judgment: Henry to hold in peace and Ralph [to be] in mercy for a false claim....

The assize comes to make recognition whether Richard, uncle of William, was seised in demesne as of his fee on the day that he died of one virgate of land in Charlton, and whether he died after the first coronation of Henry, the king's father, and whether William is his nearest heir — which land is held by Isabel of Marlborough and Thomas, her son. And Isabel and Thomas have said that they claim nothing in that land of right,[12] but that they hold it as villeinage of the canons of Charlton, and [that it is] free alms of Reginald de Pavillon who gave that land to the aforesaid canons. And William asks the assize that recognition be made whether that land was free tenement or villeinage when that land was to be inspected and was inspected. The jurors say that, when by the king's writ that land was inspected, Isabel held that land as a free tenement. Judgment: William to have that land and Isabel [to be] in mercy....

Hundred of Calne, inside and outside [the borough]. The jurors say that a certain man was found dead in the fields of Cherhill and it is not known who he was. Murder.[13]

Eli of Stodlegh and the forester of G[eoffry] Fitz-Peter, in the home of Herbert the Chamberlain (de Camera), took a certain Matthew who, they said, was an outlaw, and who was handed over to G[eoffrey] Fitz-Peter by writ of the archbishop of Rouen.[14] And the said Herbert was therefore put under gage and pledge. And the jurors say that they made no imputation against the said Herbert besides that reception of Matthew. And Herbert appears and acknowledges that he gave lodging [to Matthew] that one time when he was captured, not knowing that he was a malefactor. Herbert is to be quit. Tova, wife of Ralph Jagard, has accused Ralph, nephew of Hugh de Brewer, and others of having stolen a certain pig, and she has withdrawn [from her suit]. In mercy.[15] ...

Berwick is an escheat of the lord king and is worth £15. John Marshal had possession of it and thence took 75s. Then Henry de Longchamps had it and thence took £26. 5s., and after him the sheriff of Wiltshire thence took £7. 10s.... Again William de Braose held it and thence took £15, and he still has it....

Richard, son of Elmer, and Alfred the Ploughman fled on account of the robbery of sheep from the castle of Marlborough, and they were in the tithing of Walter.... In mercy.[16]

The same [jurors] say that Philip and Arnold of Calne were at the taking of the sheep of Marlborough, together with others who fled, and that Arnold was not in any tithing. And Philip comes and acknowledges that he was there and that Arnold was with him. Philip is to be put under pledge, in case any one wishes to bring suit against him....

Sum of the first aid[17] from the vill of Calne 4m., which the sheriff has received. Sum of the second tallage £4. 16s. 8d., which the sheriff has received.

Sum of the first aid from the hundred outside [the borough] £25. 18s. 11d., which the clerks of the sheriff have received. Sum of the second aid £4. 6s. 8d., [which] Thomas the clerk has received. Sum of the hidage £9. 18d. Adam, clerk of the sheriff, has received all except 23s., which Guy de Dives has received, and [except] 20s. from the hidage of Alan Basset....

Manor of Malmesbury. Emma of Summerford was slain in the house of her mother, and Thomas and Richard of Malmesbury were on that account accused. And the whole jury, being interrogated concerning it, said that they did not suspect the aforesaid Thomas and Richard of Malmesbury of the death of the same Emma. And the knights of the whole county said that they did suspect the aforesaid Thomas and Richard, because the same men then proceeded to Gloucester, and they are convinced that the same men proceeded to Gloucester for the sake of there selling the chattels of that woman. Thomas and Richard are to clear themselves by the water.[18]

Sum of the first aid 67s. 6d.; sum of the second aid £5. 10s. 9d. — which [sums] Ralph Fitz-Stephen has received. Sum of the hidage 2s., which Laurence the serjeant of the hundred has received.

Hundred of Sedgelaw. The jurors say that a certain man was slain at Ashley, and his wife on that account accused John and Hugh, serjeants of the abbot of Malmesbury in the vill of Crudwell, and they fled. John was in the tithing of Walter Scarlet of Norton, and Hugh was a clerk. They are to be outlawed.

Fulling, land of Walter Maltravers, is escheat, and it is worth 50s. and is in the hands of Walter of St. Mary's Church.

Countess Margaret is in the gift of the lord king and has the wardship of her son by [grant of] the lord king....

Hundred of Bradford.... In the vill of Bradford a certain woman was slain .... and Agatha was taken on the appeal of the mother and father of the slain woman and incarcerated at Salisbury. And when Earl J[ohn] broke the jail, then she escaped with the other prisoners and was never seen afterwards.... Englishry was presented at the [proper] term.

A certain infant of twelve years was drowned at Broughton, and Englishry was not presented.... Accident....

Hundred of Devizes. The churches of Devizes were given to William de Furneaux by Earl John, and they are worth 3½m.

Sum of the first aid for the ransom of the lord king 3m., which Roger Fitz-Everard and Walter Giffard received. Sum of the second [aid] 100s. 7d., which Guy de Dives paid at the exchequer, and for which he has [a receipt].

Concerning the other articles [the jurors report] nothing.

(Latin) Maitland, Rolls of the King's Court, pp. 70-109.

[1] See above, p. 80, n. 2; and cf. art. 24, below.

[2] The king's brother, who had conspired against him and who had just been driven out of England.

[3] Trials in which a disputed title to land was settled by a jury of knights; see Pollock and Maitland, I, 147.

[4] That is to say, coroners. See above, p. 53, n. 16; also nos. 39B, 53D. [5] See no. 37B.

[6] That is to say, those on eyre in that region.

[7] These knights are to choose twelve lawful men in each region of the county and the twelve are to choose enough of the freer men in each wardship or escheat to meet the needs of the king. From information thus obtained the manors are to be evaluated, restocked whenever necessary, and let to farmers.

[8] Two copies inscribed on one piece of parchment were separated by cutting through letters, such as CHIROGRAPH, written in between the two.

[9] Details follow in the text for enrolling such records and concerning the fees to be paid to the scribes.

[10] Of the Hebrew law.

[11] The first part is a record of civil pleas held before the itinerant justices; the second is a record of the returns made to the articles in the preceding document. See Maitland's introduction to the volume cited below. For the forms of action here illustrated, cf. no. 33.

[12] Since they hold in villeinage, which is not protected by the king's court; see above, p. 82, n. 1.

[13] See above, p. 36, n. 2.

[14] See above, p. 101, n. 9.

[15] Marginal notation.

[16] Marginal notation. Walter and his tithing are to be amerced because of the escape; see above, p. 37, n. 6.

[17] The following entries deal with the various taxes levied for Richard's ransom. Auxilium and tallagium sometimes appear as synonymous terms.

[18] See no. 31, art. 2.