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Pedes finium ebor, regnante Johanne, A. D. MCXCIX.-A. D. MCCXIV online

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At a Meeting of the Council of the Surtees Society,
held in Durham, on Tuesday, December 4th, 1896, the Dean
of Durham in the Chair —

It was ordered,

That the Secretary do prepare a volume of Yorkshire
Feet of Fines for the reign of King John, as a second
volume for the year 1894, in place of the English Miscellany,
which was to have been edited by the late Secretary.


The Yorkshire feet of fines for tlie reign of King
John, preserved in the Puhhc Record Office, were
till lately kept together in two bundles; the first
containing the fines for the first six years of that
kino-'s reiffn, referred to in this volume as Yorkshire
or Il)id.,-cind the second those for the remaining years
of the reio-n, and referred to as Yorkshire* or Ibid.*
These fines are now arranged in separate books for
each year of his reign, but are not placed in strict
chronological order, such as has been adopted in the
present volume.

The number of these Yorkshire fines is 459, all of
which have been printed. In addition, twenty-three
similar documents relating to Yorkshire have been
interpolated from the feet of fines for Divers Counties
and for Unknown Counties. These are distinguished
by the addition of a letter of the alphabet affixed to
them. The arrangement of these has not been changed.

To economize space, the more formal parts of the
several fines have been omitted. To show what the
omitted parts are like 1 print the commencement of
No. xxiii., as I happen to have the chirograph in my
own possession : —

Hjec est finalis conconlia facta in curia domini Regis apud
Weptmonastorinm in crastino S. Martini, anno regni Regis Joliannis



tertio, coram G. filin Petri, Simone cle Pat'hill', Johanne de Gestling',
Godefrido de Insula, Waltero de Crepping', Justiciariis, et aliis
fidelibus domini Regis ibidem tunc presentibus, Inter etc.

All fines commence in this way, and from the
opening words, Finalis coiicordia, a " fine " derives its
name. The justices of course are not in every case
the same. A list of the justices before whom the
fines in this volume were levied is printed in the
Appendix, with references to the fines in which their
names occur.

At what period the feet of fines assumed this
stereotyped form is not known. Those tempore
Eichard I. (the Yorkshire ones are being printed in the
Yorkshire Archaeol. Journal, xi. 177-188) differ in no
Avise from those of John's reign. There is no collection
of fines for Henry II. 's reign in the Record Office, but
a certain number exist in chartularies. A Yorkshire
instance, printed in the Guisbrough Chartulary, i. 167
(Surtees Soc. Ixxxvi.) was levied at York on Feb. 1,
1188-9. The only variation occurs after the names
of the justices, when it proceeds, "time Justiciariis
domini Regis, et coram aliis Baronibus et fidelibus
domini Regis, qui tunc aderant." AYith this slight
difference, and the fact that no consideration is given
(an omission pro]:>ably due to the transcriber), it is
similar in form to the ordinary feet of fines.

As the law relating to fines has for many years
past been a matter of antiquarian interest only, it may
be worth while to state what were the five essential
parts to the levying of a fine^: — (1) The original Avrit

1 The law as stated here is rather early period. The Court of Common
more elaborate than was the case at this Pleas was not yet in existence.


of riglit, usually of covenant, issued out of the
Common Pleas against tlie conusor, that is, the grantor,
and the proDcipe, wliich was a summary of the writ,
and upon which the fine was levied ; (2) the royal
licence {Ucentia concordandi) for the levying of the
fine, for which the Crown was paid a sum of money
called the " king's silver," which was the post-fine,
as distinguished from the prge-fine, which was due on
the writ ; (3) the conusance or concord itself, which
was the agreement expressing the terms of the
assurance, and was indeed the conveyance; (4) the
note of the fine, which was an abstract of the original
contract or concord; (5) the foot of the fine, or the
last part of it, which contained all the matter, — the
day, year, and place, and before what justices it was
levied. A fine was said to be engrossed when the
chirographer made the indentures of the fine and
delivered them to the party to whom the conusance
was made.^ It is only the last part of the fine,
technically called the foot of the fine, which is printed
in this volume. The copy of the foot of the fine
which was handed to the conusee, that is, the person
to whom the lands were passed by the fine, was termed
the chirograph.

All these elaborate proceedings formed part of a
fictitious or collusive suit, which terminated in the
foot of the fine, and was instituted for a twofold
object. In early times the only direct method of
conveying freehold lands was by feoffment, accoin-
panied by livery of seisin, which involved the necessity
of the grantor and grantee going in person or by their

1 Wharton's Law Lexicon, s. v. Fine.

A 'Z


attorneys to tlie property to be granted, and tlie
former giving the latter formal possession, technically
called livery of seisin, with words accompanying, indi-
cating the nature and extent of the grantee's interest
and the services to be rendered for it. A fine, how-
ever, operated as an assurance of the lands binding
upon all persons, whether parties or not, who did not,
within a given time, finally fixed (after having been
extended indefinitely) at five years, put in their claim.
Instances of persons not parties to the fine making
claims will be found in the endorsements on Nos. 233,
346, 347. Besides facilitating the transfer of the
seisin or legal estate, fines were useful as setting up
an indefeasible title. The fines which, in form, were
judgments of the court, were as such entered on the
rolls of the court (called the records of the court),
and which were of such high and super-eminent
authority that their truth might not be called in
question. Thus by a very cumbrous process the
advantages claimed for a system of registration were
secured, namely, that each grantee should start with
an unimpeachable root of title.

As a rule the parties to the fines were present in
person. The attorneys, in one case a wife (No. 94),
seem to have been friends or neighbours, except
perhaps in the case of great people, such as Robert
de Turneham and his wife, who were represented by
one with a foreign - sounding name, Wandrill' or
Wandregisilius de Curceles (Nos. 233, 291), and
Sibilla de Valoniis No. 110) and others.^

' One attorney was called Gram- 281, 282), a name which showed his
aticus, afterwards le Gramary (Nos. reputation for learning.


Wlien there was no eyre the fines were levied at
AYestrainster, or wherever else the king's court might
be held. From these fines there appear to have been
four eyres in Yorkshire in John's reign. The first
was in the fourth year, beginning at Doncaster on
the quinzaine of SS. Peter and Paul, June 29-
July 13, 1202. It continued there till July 30, when
it was moved to York, sitting at the latter place again
the same day. Fines were levied there up to Dec. 4.
The justices on this eyre were John Grey (Bishop of
Norwich), Hugh Bardulf, John de Grestlinges, Master
Roger Arundell, Hugh de Bobi (Nos. 27-49, 147), and
William Fitz Richard (Nos. 50-144, 146, 148-173).
Another eyre was held the next year ])ut one, and
lasted from Feb. 19 to Feb. 28, 1203-4. The justices
on this occasion were Geoffi^ey Fitz Peter (Earl of
Essex, Chief Justice), Simon de Pateshill, Hugh de
Chaucumbe, Joscelin de Welles, and Master Ralph de
Stokes. All the sittings on this eyre were at York.
The third eyre lasted from July 25 to Sept. 23, 1206.
The justices were Robert de Vipont (Veteri ponte),
Master Ralph de Stokes, Master Eustace de Faucun-
berge (afterwards Bishop of London), Master Roger
Arundell, and two local men, William de Percy and
Walter de Bovington, now Boynton. The fourth and
last eyre commenced at Doncaster on the quinzaine
of St. Michael, Sept. 29-Oct. 18, 1208, was removed
to York in the three weeks of the same feast, returned
to Doncaster Oct. 4, back to York on Nov. 2, and
stayed there till Nov. 14. The justices on this eyre
were Adam de Port, Simon de Pateshill, Godfrey de


Insula, Henry de Nortliampton, Henr}^ Fitz Hervey,

Eobert de Percy, Alexander de Poynton,^ and Ralph

Hareny (Nos. 297-327, 336-417).

The following is a table of the n\nnber of fines

levied :— t^- , -, on

Jbirst eyre ... ... 189

Second „ ... ... 27

Third „ 27

Fourth „ 120


As the total numbers of fines is 482, it only leaves
119 not levied before the justices in eyre. The king's
court was at York on five other occasions, viz., in
1205, 1206, 1209, 1210, and 1212, when six other fines
were levied. The king was present on all occasions
except the first.

Modern equivalents have in all cases been given
for the mediaeval method of dating by feasts and
saints' days.^ Under this system it might sometimes
happen that the same day was known under two
different denominations. Thus Nov. 22, 1202, was in-
differently referred to as the octave of the Assumption
of the Virgin, or as the Thursday after the same
feast (Nos. 123, 127), and Nov. 25 in the same year
could be styled either the Monday after the feast of
St. Clement or St. Katharine's day. Courts sat on
Sundays (Nos. 12, 13, 25, 174, etc.), and even on great
feast-days, as Wliit Sunday (No. 1).

1 Not present at Nos. 309, 332-335. death of Hameliue, Earl of Warenne.

2 There is, however, one date which The earl was a natural son of Geoffrey
deserves special notice. In No. 58 a Plantagenet, Earl of Anjou, and father
lease is made to run from the feast of of Henry II. He died in 1202, the
St. Peter ad vincula next after the year in which the fine was levied.


Besides tlie suit (placituw), when the procedure
was simple, questions of the right of possession could
be settled by an assiza or recognilio de morte ante-
cessoris, or a great assize, or the recognition of a great
assize, could be summoned. Questions of warranty,
or of the right to a next presentation, were determined
by a placitum war ant ice car tee (Nos. 337, 242, 444), or
a recognition or assize of the last presentation.

The duel, which was becoming an obsolete way of
determining the merits of a case, being superseded
by a jury (No. 364) consisting of twelve knights
(Nos. 433, 437-439), was still in use. There are
three cases where it occurred, and each time when
the king himself was present in court (Nos. 237, 428,
432). The full phrase, iiide duellum vadiat'mn,armatum,
percussum fuit inter predictos EustacJdum et Uadulphum
in eadem Curia, " and about which [i.e. the vill of
Rodenham) a duel was wagered and fought in armour
between the said Ralph and Eustace in the same
court," makes it probable that there was at least a
mock coml)at l)etween the parties or their champions.
Duels Avere employed, too, in inferior courts to settle
questions of title, as one is mentioned as having taken
place in the court of Roger de Mowbray, which was
probably his court baron held at Thirsk (No. 430).

In all cases the sul)ject matter of the fine was real
estate, or at least savoured of realty. A fine was made
to serve a good many purposes. Sometimes it was
employed to partition an inheritance (Nos. 17a, 26a),
and again, to sanction an agreement by which a
religious house undertook to maintain a chajjlain in


a village cliurcli (No. 82). Rights of common were
very often subjects of litigation. In No. 242 the
claim was for common of pasture after the hay and
corn had been gathered in {post collectionem pratorum
et bladorum). Again, a mere at Hornsea, with the
fishery, was another subject of contention. Here
(No. 401) the abbot of St. Mary's, York, agreed to
allow Robert, son of Everard de Ros, to have one
boat on the mere to catch fish for himself, his wife
and his heirs, but only so long as they should be
staying on their demesne lands in Holderness, which
would be at Roos, or on those at Garton-on-the-Wolds,
but they were not to sell the fish or waste them [sine
vasto et venditione).

The most fruitful subject of litigation was the
right to dower, where the widow had to assert her
title against her husband's representatives, often her
step -children, or against purchasers from her husband.
In modern times fines, up to the date of their abolition
in 1833, were chiefly employed as a means of passing
the estate free from dower, which was effected by
making the wife a party to the fine, when she was
examined in court apart from her husband, to ascer-
tain whether she joined in the fine of her own freewill,
or was compelled to it by the threats and menaces
of her husband. No. 426 sets before us a very strange
case, where a woman claimed dower, alleging that her
husband was dead, and got a grant in lieu of dower,
although the husband was alive and in court.

The consideration for the grant was generally a
pecuniary one. To this, however, there are a few


exceptions. A certain rjuantity of corn was given in
No. 225a, a paKrey worth five marcs in No. 147, and
a hawk in No. 248. Besides undertaking to make
tlie donor and his heirs sharers in the benefits of their
prayers (Nos. 450, 454, 459), rehgions houses often
agfreed to ofive allowances of food and clothes, called
a corodies, to the grantors of the property, for life.
Thus in No. 257 the })rior of Wartre undertook to give
Iveta, wddow of William, son of Anketin, in lieu of
dower, the allowance of bread, beer, and pottage
(pulmentum), such as a canon of the said house
received. In another case (No. 59), where the grantor
was the prior of St. Oswald's, at Nostell, another
woman had a grant of a corody, the same as that
given to the servants of the house, and M. a year to
l3uy shoes with {ad sotulares emendos). The best
example, however, of a corody is one (No. 403) made
by the prior of St. Andrew's, York, and like the other
instances, to a woman. She was to have every day a
loaf such as was commonly given to the free servants
of the house, and two pickled herrings, or some other
relish of the like value, and every week a gallon of
beer, such as was given to the free servants, but only
when the convent had beer made from their corn,
and without buying it, and once a year, on the eve
of All Saints, three ells of coidiz, and a pair of shoes
worth 5d., or the bd}

i"Tota vita sua singulis diebus predictorum liberorum servientum,

unum panem de communi liberatione dum Conveutus ejusdem loci habuerit

liberorum servientum domusS.Audreffi cervisam de proprio blado suo sine

Ebor., et duo allecia, vel aliud com- emptione, et quolibet anno in crastino

panagium ad valorem predictorum Omnium Sanctorum tres ulnas de

allecium, et singulis septimanis tres coidiz et unum par sotularium pretii

galones cervisae de commuui liberatione quiuque den., vel ([uinque den."


The grantee had in every case to render some
service to the grantor or his superior lord for the
land granted. Where the land was held hj knight
service, as was usually the case, besides the pecuniary
rent^ reserved to the grantor and his heirs, there was
the forinsec service, which had to be paid. This
term, forinsec or external service, means not only
what we understand by the phrase, but covers all
services to be rendered by the tenant outside the
manor court, whether at the AVapontake, Riding, or
County Court," or wherever else he was bound to go.

The amount of the service depended on the size of
the knight's fee, which varied very much in different
places. The smallest knight's fee contained but two
carucates and a half (Nos. 247, 254), the largest forty-
eight (Nos. 12, 209, 277, 446a). The next largest was
only twenty carucates (No. 137a), but between this
and ten and a half carucates there was nearly every
possible variation. Ten or twelve carucates were,
however, the usual size. Besides knight service the
other tenures mentioned are vilenage, socage (Nos. 6,
143), and free sergeanty (No. 27).

It is well known that the bovate, and consequently
the carucate, varied according to the nature of the
land. One of these fines (No. 148) shows that the
same was true in respect to the pertica or pole. At
Stainton, near Tickhill, in South Yorkshire, a pole in
the common fields (campis), that is, the cultivated
part of the parish, contained 17^ feet, l^ut outside

1 Other rents mentioned are two - The liability to pay suit at the

hawks at Hunmanby (No. 287) and a county court (secta comitatus) was

pound of incense (No. 368). This last determined in No. 243.
to a religious house.


this area it contained 24 feet. At Howdeii (No. 153)
in the waste land (wastum) there were twenty feet
in a \)o\c.

All throuofh this series of fines we find evidence
of the continnous expansion of the cnltivated area.
Assartare was the legal term : a verb derived from
the Low Latin exsartum, whicli meant the clearing
the land of trees and bushes for the purpose of
cultivation. This process was not looked on with
favour by the superior lord, as it spoiled his sporting
I'io-hts. In No. 292 Nicholas de Stuteville ao-reed that
the monks of St. Mary's, York, should keep as much
as had been cleared [qiiantum sartatum fuit) in
Hoetweit at the time the charter was made, Imt thev
were not to clear any more without his leave. The
English term for this process, Auenant, occurs once
(No. 14). Canon Atkinson, in the Rievaulx Chartulary
(p.52?i) draws attention to another form of this word,
ofnam or ovenam, and shows that it means a taking
off from the waste, being connected with the A.S.
verb, ofniman, to seize, and so expresses the converse
idea to the modern intaJi-.

To the local antiquary perhaps the chief value of
these fines is the means they afford of dating docu-
ments. At this early period, and indeed till nearly
the close of the thirteenth century, dated documents
are the exception.

The only other series of public records which are
contemporaneous with the feet of fines, are the Pipe
Rolls and the Rolls of the Curia Regis. These are
of little use to local searchers, except in the case of


great people, and they rarely give so mucli detail.
For early pedigrees these fines are invaluable. To
the philologist they are almost indispensable, as they
contain the contemporary spelling, and consequently
the pronunciation, for spelling was still phonetic, of
a large number of place names, and thus form a
connecting link between the Domesday and the later
form. Copies of early documents, found in late
chartularies and couchers, can seldom be trusted in
the matter of the accurate transcription of proper
names, though generally the Latin part is correctly
done. Some of the Christian names sound very
strange to our ears. Ogger, Walram, Romkil, Tulbus,^
and Rabel, amongst men's names, and Abbelota, Wim-
man, Hectreda, and Ytairia, amongst female ones,
merit notice. All unusual Christian names are indexed.
It may be as well to call the reader's attention to
the fact that there are places not in Yorkshire
mentioned in these fines. This happened sometimes
from the fine relating to properties in other counties
besides Yorkshire, when it would be placed in the
bundle of fines for Divers Counties; sometimes because
the fine was levied before the justices who had been
in Yorkshire, and had continued their eyre into a
neighbouring county, as when the Yorkshire justices
went to Newcastle and Lancaster (Nos. 418-421), and
sometimes because it was more convenient to have
the fine levied before the justices at York than to go to

1 The more usual form of Oggcr is tor of the name Tulliver, which has

Ofigier or Holger, of Wah-am, Waleran, been immortalized by George Eliot in

or Walcrand, and of Eomkil, Ravenkil, " The Mill on the Floss."
or Eainkil. Tulbus may be the ances-


London or to wait for an eyre in their own connty.
This probably accounts for the liancashire fines on
pp. 62, 63. A Northumberland fine (No. 146) is stated
to have been levied at York as the justices were
returning from the Northern parts. One fine
(No. 293), apparently belonging to Middlesex, must
have strayed out of its proper bundle.

Before concluding, I must tender my hearty thanks
to Canon Atkinson for looking through the proofs.


The King, 237, 241-245, 246a, 250-252, 254-255a,
290-292, 294, 295, 424^-455, 457, 446a.

Mk. Roger Arundell, 27-144, 146-202, 207, 256-

William de Aubenny, 422, 423.

Robert de Aumar', 443-446.

Hugh Bard', Bardulf',' 1, 27-144, 146-202.

Earl Roger le Bigot, 237.

Hugh de Bobi, Boby, Boebi, 6-8, 27-49, 147.

Walter de Bovington, Bovinton, Buvincton, 256-


William Brieger', Briwerre, Bruewere, 1, 17a,

237, 256, 428.

H(uBERT Walter), Archbishop of Canterbury, 1.

H(ugh) de Chaucumba, Cauoumbe, 208-232, 237.

Walter de Creping', Crepinges, Crepping', 11, 14,
15, 19-26A, 203, 205, 233-236, 239, 242, 243, 245,
247-249, 253, 283-288, 293, 296.

William de Ely, treasurer, 422, 423.

Geoffrey Fitz Peter, Earl of Essex,' 1, 2, 3, 5-11,
14, 15, 19-26A, 145, 203-249, 253, 255, 256, 283-296,
293, 296, 422, 423, 428, 429.

1 No justices mentioued in No. 425. ^ He was Sheriff of Yoiksliire the

2 Hugh Bardulf was SlierifE of Yorlc- first two years of John's reign, with
shire in 4, 5, and the first half of James de Potterne as iinder-sheriff ;
6 Richard I., with Hugh de Boby and again in the last half of the sixth
under him. year, and the year following, when

Ralph de Normanville was his deputy.


Mk. Eustace de Falkenberge, Faucumberge, Fau-
KENBERGE, 6, 0, 1 0, 1 2, 13, 16-18, 21, 22, 25-26A, 203,

205, 206, 238-240, 245-249, 253, 256-282, 277, 283-
288, 293, 296, 435, 436.

Richard Flandrensis, 11-13.

John de Gkstelinges, Gestlinges, 1-11, 14, 15,
19-24, 27-144, 146-202, 205, 206, 233-236, 238-240,
242, 243, 245, 246, 247-249, 253, 283-288, 293, 296,
422, 423.

Ealph Hareng, 297-327, 336-419, 421.

Richard de Her', Herierd', 2-11, 15, 19-22, 25-
26a, 145, 203-206, 233-236.

William, Archdeacon op Hereford, 422, 423.

Henry Fitz Hervey, 297-421.

OsBERT FiTZ Heryey, 2, 3, 6-10, 145, 203, 204,
233-236, 238-240, 242, 243, 245-249.

William de Cornhill, Archdeacon of Huntingdon,
422, 423.

Roger Huscarl, 443-445, 449-454, 456-459.

Godfrey de Insula, 11, 14, 15, 19-26a, 203, 205,

206, 233-236, 238-240, 246, 297-419.
(Richard) de Marisco, 256.
Robert Maudut, 422, 423.

Richard de Mucegros, Muchegros, Muscegros,
Muzengros, 245-248, 250, 254-255a, 428-430, 433,

Henry de Northampton, 297-419.

J(oHN Grey), Bishop of Norwich, 27-144, 146-202.

Simon de Pateshill', Pateshull', Patishill', 1-1 Oa,
12, 13, 16, 17a, 18, 21-26A, 203, 205, 206, 208-237,
241, 244-246, 247, 248, 250-252, 254, 255, 256, 284-
286, 289-292, 294, 295, 297-424, 426-459.


W(iLLiAM Marshal), Earl of Pembroke (Penbroc), 1.

Robert de Percy/ 297-421.

Henry de Ponte Aldemeri, Puntaudemek, 289, 290,
325, 378, 424, 426-451.

James de Poterna,^ 25, 241, 244-24G, 247, 248,
250-252, 254-255A, 283, 289-292, 294, 295, 431-446,
447-458, 459.

Alexander dePoynton, 297-308, 310-331, 336-421.

Mr. Benedict de Rames', 422, 423.

William Fitz Richard, 50-144, 146, 148-202.

Henry, Archdeacon of Stafford, 247, 248, 250-252,
255, 255a, 283, 284, 289-292.

JoscELiN DE Stiuecle, 258a, 259.

Mr. Ralph de Stok', Stokes, 12, 13, 16, 17a, 18,
209-232, 237, 244-246, 257-282.

William de Wrotham, Archdeacon of Taunton,
422, 423.

Jordan de Turr', 145, 204.

R(obert) de Veteri ponte, 256-282.

William de Warenn', 2-5, 7, 8.

Joscelin de Well', 208-237, 227a.

Henry de AYichenton, Wicheton, Wichinton, 6, 9,

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

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