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Landowners and tenants in Somerset (1345-1485)
Inquisitions ad quod damnum were held by the appropriate sheriff or escheator (or other officer in whose bailiwick the matter in question might lie) to investigate cases in which the royal or public interest might be damaged by proposed alienation or settlement of land (especially alienation to religious uses, into mortmain). The key findings from these inquisitions were as to the tenure of the land and the service due from it; its yearly value; the lands remaining to the grantor, and whether they sufficed to discharge all duties and customs due from him; and whether he can still be put upon juries, assizes and recognitions, so that the country be not burdened by his withdrawal from them. Generally speaking, this process had the makings of a system of licensing such alienations, and raising money in proportion to the valuations. Equally, there are many items that deal with subjects such as the closing of public roads, the felling or inclosing of woods, or the proposed grant of liberties or immunities. A calendar of these inquisitions from the 19th year of the reign of king Edward III to the 2nd year of Richard III was prepared by the Public Record Office and published in 1906. We have now indexed this calendar by surname and county. Most of the individuals appearing in the calendar are either pious individuals seeking to make grants to religious bodies for the sake of their souls; or landowners securing the disposition and settling of their real estate. But some other names do appear - tenants, trustees, chaplains and clerks.
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Landowners and tenants in Somerset
 (1345-1485)
Clergy, the religious and the faithful in Britain and Ireland (1484-1492)
These are abstracts of the entries relating to Great Britain and Ireland from the Lateran and Vatican Regesta of pope Innocent VIII. Many of these entries relate to clerical appointments and disputes, but there are also indults to devout laymen and women for portable altars, remission of sins, &c. This source is particularly valuable for Ireland, for which most of the key government and ecclesiastical records of this period are lost. Innocent VIII was consecrated and crowned 12 September 1484 (the day from which his pontificate is dated) and died at Rome 25 July 1492. The extracts were made by J. A. Twemlow from Vatican Regesta dclxxxii to dcclxxi and Lateran Regesta dcccxxxviii to dcccxl.
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Clergy, the religious and the faithful in Britain and Ireland
 (1484-1492)
Early records of Wells cathedral, in Somerset (1001-1500)
Three early registers of the dean and chapter of Wells - the Liber Albus I (White Book; R I), Liber Albus II (R III), and Liber Ruber (Red Book; R II, section i) - were edited by W. H. B. Bird for the Historical Manuscripts Commissioners and published in 1907. These three books comprise, with some repetition, a cartulary of possessions of the cathedral, with grants of land dating back as early as the 8th century, well before the development of hereditary surnames in England; acts of the dean and chapter; and surveys of their estates, mostly in Somerset.
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Early records of Wells cathedral, in Somerset
 (1001-1500)
Rich English Pilgrims in Rome (1505)
Registers of English pilgrims staying in Rome, preserved among the archives of the English College, were extracted by W. C. Trevelyan and communicated to the Rev. John Hodgson, who published them in 1838. Two separate lists were maintained - of the rich and nobles, and of the poor. Both lists give date, full name, and diocese of origin in England and Wales.
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Rich English Pilgrims in Rome
 (1505)
Lichfield Diocese Ordinations: Acolytes Secular (1506)
The diocese of Coventry and Lichfield at this period included the whole of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire; all Lancashire south of the Ribble; northern Shropshire (including Shrewsbury); and northern Warwickshire (including Birmingham and Coventry). Ordinations took place on the four Ember Saturdays in the year, and on certain other occasions; lists of ordinands to the degrees of acolyte, subdeacon, deacon and priest were preserved in the ordination registers, a distinction being made between those clerks who were 'regular', i. e., monks, friars, &c., and those who were 'secular', the main body of the clergy. All ordinands were celibate, and those regular, and the secular who obtained benefices, remained so, but only a minority of the secular ordinands ever obtained benefices, and most will doubtless have married later in life. No man might be ordained to subdeacon or higher without proving either that he was of independent means or that he was sponsored by an institution or a gentleman. Most entries in the register of such ordinations therefore have the words 'ad titulum' followed by the name of the religious house that was the sponsor. This is an important indication of the man's origins - boys whose families were monastic tenants, and who were educated by the monks, would naturally be sponsored by the abbey. Only men who were born and bred in the diocese could be ordained by the bishop, unless producing letters dimissory from the bishop of the diocese of their birth. These are the ordinations celebrated on Ember Saturday, 6 June 1506 by bishop Geoffrey Blythe, in Longdon prebendal church.
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Lichfield Diocese Ordinations: Acolytes Secular
 (1506)
Lichfield Diocese Ordinations: Deacons Secular (1507)
The diocese of Coventry and Lichfield at this period included the whole of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire; all Lancashire south of the Ribble; northern Shropshire (including Shrewsbury); and northern Warwickshire (including Birmingham and Coventry). Ordinations took place on the four Ember Saturdays in the year, and on certain other occasions; lists of ordinands to the degrees of acolyte, subdeacon, deacon and priest were preserved in the ordination registers, a distinction being made between those clerks who were 'regular', i. e., monks, friars, &c., and those who were 'secular', the main body of the clergy. All ordinands were celibate, and those regular, and the secular who obtained benefices, remained so, but only a minority of the secular ordinands ever obtained benefices, and most will doubtless have married later in life. No man might be ordained to subdeacon or higher without proving either that he was of independent means or that he was sponsored by an institution or a gentleman. Most entries in the register of such ordinations therefore have the words 'ad titulum' followed by the name of the religious house that was the sponsor. This is an important indication of the man's origins - boys whose families were monastic tenants, and who were educated by the monks, would naturally be sponsored by the abbey. Only men who were born and bred in the diocese could be ordained by the bishop, unless producing letters dimissory from the bishop of the diocese of their birth. These are the ordinations celebrated on Ember Saturday, 29 May 1507, by Thomas bishop of Panados (Pavados), suffragan of bishop Geoffrey Blythe, in Longdon prebendal church.
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Lichfield Diocese Ordinations: Deacons Secular
 (1507)
Lichfield Diocese Ordinations: Priests Secular (1507)
The diocese of Coventry and Lichfield at this period included the whole of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire; all Lancashire south of the Ribble; northern Shropshire (including Shrewsbury); and northern Warwickshire (including Birmingham and Coventry). Ordinations took place on the four Ember Saturdays in the year, and on certain other occasions; lists of ordinands to the degrees of acolyte, subdeacon, deacon and priest were preserved in the ordination registers, a distinction being made between those clerks who were 'regular', i. e., monks, friars, &c., and those who were 'secular', the main body of the clergy. All ordinands were celibate, and those regular, and the secular who obtained benefices, remained so, but only a minority of the secular ordinands ever obtained benefices, and most will doubtless have married later in life. No man might be ordained to subdeacon or higher without proving either that he was of independent means or that he was sponsored by an institution or a gentleman. Most entries in the register of such ordinations therefore have the words 'ad titulum' followed by the name of the religious house that was the sponsor. This is an important indication of the man's origins - boys whose families were monastic tenants, and who were educated by the monks, would naturally be sponsored by the abbey. Only men who were born and bred in the diocese could be ordained by the bishop, unless producing letters dimissory from the bishop of the diocese of their birth. These are the ordinations celebrated on Ember Saturday, 18 September 1507, by Thomas bishop of Panados (Pavados), suffragan of bishop Geoffrey Blythe, in Lichfield cathedral.
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Lichfield Diocese Ordinations: Priests Secular
 (1507)
Lichfield Diocese Ordinations: Subdeacons Secular (1507)
The diocese of Coventry and Lichfield at this period included the whole of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire; all Lancashire south of the Ribble; northern Shropshire (including Shrewsbury); and northern Warwickshire (including Birmingham and Coventry). Ordinations took place on the four Ember Saturdays in the year, and on certain other occasions; lists of ordinands to the degrees of acolyte, subdeacon, deacon and priest were preserved in the ordination registers, a distinction being made between those clerks who were 'regular', i. e., monks, friars, &c., and those who were 'secular', the main body of the clergy. All ordinands were celibate, and those regular, and the secular who obtained benefices, remained so, but only a minority of the secular ordinands ever obtained benefices, and most will doubtless have married later in life. No man might be ordained to subdeacon or higher without proving either that he was of independent means or that he was sponsored by an institution or a gentleman. Most entries in the register of such ordinations therefore have the words 'ad titulum' followed by the name of the religious house that was the sponsor. This is an important indication of the man's origins - boys whose families were monastic tenants, and who were educated by the monks, would naturally be sponsored by the abbey. Only men who were born and bred in the diocese could be ordained by the bishop, unless producing letters dimissory from the bishop of the diocese of their birth. These are the ordinations celebrated on Ember Saturday, 27 February 1507, by bishop Geoffrey Blythe, in Longdon prebendal church.
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Lichfield Diocese Ordinations: Subdeacons Secular
 (1507)
Yorkshire Testators and Legatees (1484-1508)
Wills and testaments from the diocese of York (Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Hexhamshire, Lancashire north of the Ribble, and southwest Westmorland) registered at York. Richmond and Southwell archdeaconries had their own lower probate jurisdictions, so the wills registered at York are predominantly from the East and West Ridings and the eastern part of the North Riding of Yorkshire. In theory, wills dealt with real property and testaments with personal property, but the distinction hardly applies in practice: most of these wills are in Latin, but some are in English. Being before the Reformation, they commonly start with benefactions to churches, chantries, chapels, &c., and with provisions for the burning of candles ('lights') and saying of masses. This publication in 1869 by the Surtees Society as Testamenta Eboracensia iv is an edition by James Raine of selected wills from the period. Some additional material is included from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and the York Dean and Chapter archives.
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Yorkshire Testators and Legatees
 (1484-1508)
Inhabitants of Leicester (1327-1509)
The Corporation of Leicester commissioned the publication (in 1901) of extracts from the borough archives of 1327 to 1509, edited by Mary Bateson. This volume brings together several important sources: a coroner's roll of 1327; the merchant gild rolls; tax returns; court rolls; rentals; mayoral accounts, &c. All the Latin and French texts are accompanied by English translations. Not all the tax rolls surviving for this period are printed: but full lists of names are given for tallages of 1336 (pp. 34-40); 1347-8 (69-71); and 1354 (93-99); subsidy rolls of 1492 (331-334) and 1497 (351-353); and a benevolence roll of 1505 (370-374). There is a calendar of conveyances (388-446), and a list of mayors, bailiffs, and other officials (447-462); and, finally, entrants into the merchant gild from 1465 to 1510. Membership of the merchant gild was by right of inheritance (s. p. = sede patris, in his father's seat), or by payment of a fee called a 'bull' (taurus). Those marked * paid their bull, and were thus, by implication, not natives, or at least not belonging to gild merchant families. By 1400 membership of the gild merchant had become the equivalent of gaining freedom of the borough (being a free burgess): but thitherto the two were not necessarily the same, and some of the merchant gild members were not resident in the borough, merely traded there.
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Inhabitants of Leicester
 (1327-1509)
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