Contrasting Emotions: The Baptism of Philip Courtenay, 18 January 1404

Michael Hicks explores an eventful day at Ashton parish church, Devon, as recorded in the proof of age of Philip Courtenay  (CIPM xxii.530).

Unpublished IPMs: Joan Mohun, 1404

This inquisition is another discovery in the Exchequer archive of IPMs. It relates to the Berkshire lands of Joan, the wife of John Mohun, second lord Mohun (d. 1375), and daughter of Bartholomew of Burghersh, who died in 1404. [1. H. C. Maxwell-Lyte, A History of Dunster of the Families of Mohun and Luttrell, 2 vols (1909), i.44-58.] Its omission from CIPM xviii may appear understandable, since at first sight its findings - that Joan held no lands in the county - seem lacking in interest. The surviving copy is also a cancelled draft, so its status and authority are also in doubt. Nevertheless, it raises important questions about the IPM process and about the archiving of the subsequent inquisitions, even if it does not - unfortunately! - provide clear answers to those questions.

Winchester Research Apprenticeship Scheme (WRAP)

Three Winchester undergraduates have been awarded Winchester Research Apprenticeships to  work on the inquisitions. WRAPs involve a week of funded work in support of staff projects: others relate to the New Victoria County History of Hampshire, the Winchester Project, and Scottish chantries. These three involve modernising the dates in the first two calendars of IPMs.  These are accessed on British History Online, compared with Cheney's Handbook of Dates, and the results are entered into a machine-readable template devised by Matthew Holford and Gordon McKelvie , so that the results can (after checking) be entered into the texts online. The inquisition process was not so sophisticated early on – there were fewer dates and fewer capable of checking and modernising – and it is not clear how rapidly the students can work.  Two are working on vol 1 (from the beginning and the end) and one on vol 2.  If they do not finish, as expected, further WRAPs will be awarded in 2014. There are numerous other minor projects that could improve the published text: from 1399 all dates are modernised – but some researchers, interested in the cult of saints, would like the original dates restored.

The escheator: a short introduction


Wara terre: an obscure Staffordshire landholding unit in Margaret de Bromley's Assignment of Dower, 1420

The 1420 assignment of dower to Margaret, widow of Thomas de Bromley, esquire, has been calendared in CIPM xxi, as document 173, but with a number of gaps.  The head and foot of the original inquisition are damaged and parts of the rest were too faded to read.  However the faded sections can mostly be made out with effort, especially with the aid of an ultra-violet lamp, and they have been added to the updated calendar text below, which is now complete save for the introduction and a part of the final section lost from the original. Additionally, a mistranslation of the name of an uncommon landholding unit, the wara terre, has been corrected.