Viewing posts for the category Featured inquisition

The extents: a short introduction (CIPM XXII.799)

The detailed extents found in many IPMs are a key source of information for economic, agrarian, and landscape history. The extent was a kind of survey: that is, a written description of a property. There were several other varieties, including demesne surveys (records of the lands exploited by the lord of the manor), custumals (records of tenants and their rents and services), and  rentals (records of tenants and their rents).[1. P. D. A. Harvey, Manorial Records, rev. ed. (1999), ch. 2.] Extents are especially valuable because they describe both the demesne and the rents and services of tenants, providing valuations for each item. They therefore record and value all the constituent elements of an estate – arable, pasture, meadow, mills, fisheries, buildings and so, as well as tenants – providing important evidence of how land and other seigneurial resources were exploited, and of their relative importance and productivity. The extents made for private landlords are generally reliable and authoritative, but they do not survive in great numbers or for all areas of the country. The extents in IPMs are much more numerous, and cover a much wider social and geographical range, but they are not as reliable as those made for private landlords. This article provides a brief survey of the problems and illustrates them with a detailed comparison between the 1427 IPM extent of Stow Bardolph (Norf.) and contemporary accounts.[2. For fuller accounts, see the essays by Dyer and Holford in Companion.]

CIPM XVIII.416 and the Exchequer series of IPMs

Many IPMs survive in multiple copies: one in the Chancery series of inquisitions, and one, sometimes more, in the Exchequer series. The early history of the Exchequer archive is currently obscure, but by the late fourteenth century its workings are reasonably clear. A copy of the Chancery IPM was provided to the Exchequer and was used to check the accuracy of the escheator's account. After audit the account and any related inquisitions and writs were filed together. (Sometimes the inquisitions and writs were physically attached to the account.) Those included not only IPMs but inquisitions, often ex officio, concerning other aspects of the escheators' responsibilities such as the alienation of lands without royal licence.

CIPM XVIII.876 and the IPM process: the heir and his inheritance

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