Viewing posts by mholford
Posted by: mholford in Featured inquisition 7 years, 7 months ago
Year Books are late-medieval collections of law reports, dating from the 13th century to 1535. They are a treasure trove for legal historians, providing valuable insights into the development of English law in the late medieval period. They are often disappointing for historians from other disciplines, however, as they seldom identify the individuals or places involved the cases they report, instead describing them generically: ‘an heir', ‘a widow', ‘John T, lord of a manor‘. This reflects their purpose; they were produced to record the legal principles established by the cases and included background facts only so far as necessary to understand those principles.[1. J.H. Baker, An Introduction to English Legal History, 3rd edn (London, 1990), 204-7. For a detailed description, K. Topulos, ‘A common lawyer's bookshelf recreated: an annotated bibliography of a collection of sixteenth-century English law books', 84 Law Library Journal (1992), 641-86.] Yet IPMs can sometimes be used to identify the individuals and properties mentioned in these anonymous Year Book reports. This is one such case, the report of a 1424 hearing in the Exchequer Chamber which can be greatly amplified by reference to two Proofs of Age, CIPM xxii.356 and 365, and nine other IPMs.[2. CIPM xii.134 and 339; xx.675-9; xxii.21-2.]
Posted by: mholford in Unpublished inquisitions 7 years, 7 months ago
This March 1420 IPM into the Devon lands of John Keynes, senior, has not been calendared. It has an entry in CIPM xxi, numbered 327, but that consists of just a few disconnected phrases, followed by the statement ‘mostly illegible'. Both the Chancery and Exchequer copies of the IPM are indeed illegible in parts, but fortunately mostly in different parts, so between them, and with the use of an ultra-violet lamp, it has been possible to work out almost the entire text.
Posted by: mholford in Unpublished inquisitions 7 years, 8 months ago
The IPM into the Cornish lands of Sir John Colshull has been calendared as CIPM xxi.121, but incompletely. The calendar text has a number of gaps and the last third of the IPM has been reduced to just a few disconnected phrases, followed by the statement ‘remainder mostly illegible'. Both the Chancery and Exchequer copies of the IPM are indeed difficult in parts, but between them, and with the use of an ultra-violet lamp, it has been possible to work out the entire text. It was also found that the calendar entry's first paragraph did not accurately represent the original text, so the entire entry is reproduced below with the first paragraph corrected, the gaps filled and the final third inserted. For convenience passages which in CIPM xxi.121 are represented by cross-references to identical passages in Colshull's Devon IPM (xxi.120) are here set out in extenso.
Posted by: mholford in Featured inquisition 7 years, 8 months ago
Posted by: mholford in News and events 7 years, 9 months ago
The Richard III Society has most generously agreed to a large grant that makes it possible to calendar the inquisitions post mortem for Richard III (1483-5). The existing calendars run from 1236-1509, but with a large gap from 1447-85 including the Wars of the Roses that needs to be filled. Important in itself, tackling the IPMs of Richard III is an important first stage to bridging the gap and also to making the whole series accessible and searchable digitally. It will be a prototype for the full calendar eventually intended for the whole period 1447-85.