Unpublished IPMs: Proof of Age for Eleanor Poulet, daughter and heir of Robert Roos, knight, 1499

This proof of the age of Eleanor Poulet, daughter of Sir Robert Roos of Gedney in Lincolnshire, taken in 1499, is unusual for several reasons. It was taken when she was a 66 year old widow, and was the second proof made of her age - an earlier one had been taken fifty years previously. It provides a date and place of birth which contradicts those supplied in the earlier proof. And it is self-evidently a fabrication; several of the jurors claim to have played a part in the baptism or to have been involved in other adult activities in the year of their own birth or when aged only 3-5. These matters will be discussed in greater detail in a separate post, to be made shortly.

The Proof has been calendared as CIPM 1497-1504.254, but the entry is incomplete, omitting eleven of the twelve jurors (including all those whose evidence is chronologically improbable).


Writ de etate probanda.‡ 10 February 1499. [Warham].
Because Eleanor, one of the daughters and heirs of Robert Roos, knight, deceased, who held from the late king Henry VI in chief on the day he died, says that she is of full age and claims from us the lands and tenements which are of the same Eleanor's inheritance and in the keeping of John Taylboys senior, esquire, by the same late king's grant [CFR 1437-45, p. 198; CPR 1441-6, p. 51], we wish that the same Eleanor, who was born in Breighton, Yorkshire, and baptised in the church of Bubwith, Yorkshire, as she says, should prove her age before you.
John Taylboys to be warned.
[Dorse:] John Tailboys, senior, esquire, named in the writ, is dead.

YORKSHIRE. Proof of Age [indented]. York castle. 28 October 1499. [Branch]
The jurors say that Eleanor Poulet, one of the daughters and heirs of Robert Roos, knight, was born at Breighton, Yorkshire, on 30 September 1433 and baptised in the parish church of Bubwith on the same day and was aged 55 years [recte 66] on 30 September last, and they remember for the following reasons:
John Moreton, age 70 years and more, because on the same day one William Thorp fell and broke his left leg.
Robert Asshton, age 69 years and more, because on that day he found a white-tawed purse with a gold ring in it.
Edmund Hoton, aged 66 years and more, because he held a lit candle in his right hand during the baptism.
Robert Mason, aged 66 years and more, because on that day he started on a pilgrimage to Canterbury by reason of the devotion which he had for St Thomas the martyr.
John Potter, aged 80 years and more, because during the baptism he held a basin and ewer full of water for Eleanor's godfather and godmothers to wash their hands after the baptism.
Reginald Broun, aged 76 years and more, because on that day he bought 20 acres of pasture in Melton in Yorkshire from one Robert Hode and was given seisin therein by the same Robert, to have to him and his heirs forever.
Humphrey Morley, aged 80 years and more, because on that day one Richard Fox married one Alice, daughter of Miles Burton, at the door of Bubwith church.
Hugh Foster, aged 76 years and more, because on that day one Giles Frensshe, long languishing in danger of death from fever, rose from his bed saying he had recovered by the merits and prayers of our blessed lady the glorious virgin Mary.
Nicholas Laten, aged 86 years and more, because on that day one Robert Estney gave 40s. to the fabric of the church of St Peter in York.
Roger Thornton, aged 90 years and more, because on that day one John Thornton, being in holy orders, celebrated mass in Skipwith church for the first time.
George Layburn, aged 78 years and more, because on that day one John Forder, fisherman, took a great fish of great length and having a head like the head of a dog with a net at Breighton in the water of Derwent.
Brian Martyn, aged 71 years and more, because on that day he erected a hall at Bubwith, artfully constructed by carpenters.
[Head:] Delivered to court on 19 November.
C 142/14/11 mm. 1–2

CCR 1485-1500, p. 345: ‘To the escheator in York. Order to take fealty of Eleanor daughter of Robert Roos, and to assign to her a moiety of the third part of Hunmanby manor in that county: since it is learnt by inquisition before John Langton, escheator for king Henry VI, that Robert Roos was seised in his demesne by service of an eighth part of a knight's fee of a third part of that manor, and had as daughters Margery wife of John Whitelbury esquire, then of full age, and Eleanor her sister, still a minor; and the king ordered the then escheator to take fealty and security for his relief from the said John for Margery's share, and to make partition of the manor: and Eleanor has now proved her age before the escheator, and the king has respited her homage to the Nativity of St. John Baptist next.'