Fine of the Month: February 2008
(Victoria Raffan & David Carpenter)
1. ‘Hinc Mittendum est…’ – The sending of the originalia roll to the Exchequer
Throughout the fine rolls are notes indicating the transfer of material relevant to the raising of the king’s revenue to the Exchequer. In this Fine of the Month Victoria Raffan, an MA student at King’s, who did the bulk of the research, and David Carpenter with whom she interpreted this material, examines these notes and their place in royal administration.
⁋1As is well known, the fine rolls recorded offers of money to the king for a wide variety of concessions and favours. In general, the job of collecting that money fell to the Exchequer, and copies of the fine rolls, called ‘originalia rolls’, were sent to it so that it knew what money to collect. 1 The dispatch of the originalia roll to the Exchequer is referred to on the fine roll in the periodic notes which state ‘hinc mittendum est ad scaccarium’, ‘from here it is to be sent to the Exchequer’. This indicated the point at which the last installment of the originalia roll had been dispatched and where a new installment had to be commenced for dispatch at some future date. Sometimes, in the period down to 1234 examined here, the note stated in addition that the previous installment had been delivered to the Exchequer by the hand of Ralph de Neville, who was the effective head of the Chancery with responsibility for drawing up both the fine and originalia rolls. Once the originalia roll reached the Exchequer, the debts it recorded were entered on to both the pipe roll and the ‘summonses’, the latter being the lists of debts sent to the sheriff for him to collect. That individual debts had been, or were to be, thus entered was indicated on the originalia roll by marginal annotations made by the Exchequer, ‘in R’’, standing for ‘in the [pipe] roll’, and ‘S’’, standing presumably for ‘summons’ or ‘to be summoned’. 2
⁋2The hinc mittendum est entries are themselves undated, but it is possible to place them chronologically with a fair degree of accuracy by looking at the dates of the entries around them. When this is done, one point immediately emerges. This is that the completed fine roll was not copied onto the originalia roll ‘in one go’ at the end of each regnal year. (Henry’s years, and thus his fine rolls, ran from 28 October to 27 October). Rather, the originalia roll was copied and sent to the Exchequer in installments throughout the year, and it can only have been later, at the Exchequer, that the individual membranes, or runs of membranes, were sewn together to form a single roll. 3 The purpose of this ‘Fine of the Month’ is to throw light on Chancery and Exchequer procedure by examining the dates of the hinc mittendum est entries, and thus of the dispatch of the originalia rolls to the Exchequer. The focus will be on the seventeen fine rolls from 2 to 18 Henry III, those covering the period from 28 October 1217 to 27 October 1234. (The roll for the first regnal year has no such entries.)
|Year||Total number of entries 4||Total times sent to the Exchequer||Months in which sent to the Exchequer|
|1217–1218||266||6||Nov., Jan., Mar., May, July, Oct.|
|1218–1219||422||4||Feb., May, Oct. (twice)|
|1219–1220||295||4||Feb., Mar., July, Oct.|
|1220–1221||352||5||Oct., Jan., Apr., Aug., Oct.|
|1221–1222||320||3||Feb., July, Oct.|
|1222–1223||328||3||May, Oct. (twice)|
|1224–1225 (two sets of rolls)||375||2||Apr., Oct.|
|1225–1226||359||3||Feb., Oct. (twice)|
|1226–1227||398||4||Mar. (twice), June, July|
|1228–1229||518||5||Dec., Feb., May, July, Oct.|
|1229–1230||475||4||Nov., Jan., Feb., Apr.|
|1230–1231||344||6||Nov., Jan., Apr., July, Oct. (twice)|
|1232–1233||386||3||Jan., Apr., July|
|1233–1234||401||6||Jan., July (three times), Oct. (twice)|
⁋1On the face of it, examining this table, it would seem that there was little consistent pattern in the number of times each year that the originalia rolls were forwarded to the Exchequer, so much so that one is bound to wonder whether some hinc mittendum est entries have been omitted. Was there really only one installment dispatched between July 1227 and December 1228? If the clerk began a new originalia as soon as the old one was finished, then he would not need to make a note reminding himself where to start it. Further light might be shed on this question by examination of surviving originalia rolls themselves to see if their membranes can be matched up with the hinc mittendum est entries in the fine rolls. 5 Sometimes, however, variations in the number of times installments of the originalia roll were dispatched are explicable. That the roll for the first regnal year has no hinc mittendum est entries at all is not surprising. Drawn up in a year of war, it recorded less than twenty-five debts and there was nowhere to send them for collection since the Exchequer itself did not re-open till November 1217. 6 By contrast the next roll, that for 1217–18, has no less than six such entries, a number not equaled again till 1233–1234. Probably the frequent dispatch of the originalia roll this reveals reflects the government getting back into action after the war and wanting to send information to the Exchequer as soon as possible about debts which could be collected. 7 The number of installments sent in 1233–1234 is perhaps explained by the political turmoil of a year which saw the fall of Peter des Roches. 8
⁋2Taking the statistics at face value, is there any pattern in terms of the times of year when installments of the originalia roll were dispatched? In particular, was such dispatch related to the dates at which the Exchequer began to draw up the summonses for the sheriff, a point at which it would surely have wanted the most up to date information possible about the debts to be collected. Unfortunately it is very difficult to test this hypothesis. Routine summonses went out twice a year, the first for debts to be paid at Easter and the second at Michaelmas, but there appears no direct evidence (unless a thorough examination of the memoranda rolls produces it), as to when exactly the summonses for those debts actually were prepared and sent out. 9 Indeed, they may have been sent out at different times for different counties. Having said that, it is possible that the fairly frequent dispatch of the originalia roll in the January or February of a year (occurring in thirteen of the seventeen rolls) was to provide final information in time for those debts to be summoned at Easter. Likewise the dispatches in June or July in nine of the rolls were perhaps to meet a last call for the payments at Michaelmas. Those in April or May, in a further ten rolls, were obviously in good time for them.
⁋3The most popular month for the hinc mittendum est entry was October. It is found there, sometime more than once, in twelve of the seventeen rolls. The debts thus sent were in very good time for the Easter summonses, but the main reason for sending them was probably the desire to wrap things up at the end of the regnal year. Thus the hinc mittendum est entry often comes right at the end of the roll, 10 although, in one case, the clerk, having begun to put it there, decided instead that it should go at the start of the roll for the next regnal year (that for 1220–1221), thus making it unnecessary to refer back to the earlier roll when discovering from where the originalia had to be copied. 11 Just why, in several Octobers, and occasionally in other months, the originalia roll was dispatched more than once, does not immediately appear. Whether dispatch was ever related to the desire to inform the Exchequer about a fine of particular importance, or to a sense that the financial value of the fines had reached a level where it was wise to send them off, are subjects which need further investigation. If there was any sense of ‘level’, that might explain the variable lengths of time between dispatch since the rate at which money was promised could vary. Over the seventeen year period, however, there appears to be no correlation between number of entries and the frequency with which the originalia roll was sent to the Exchequer.
⁋4Analysis of the years between 1217 and 1234 shows one other outstanding factor affecting the transmission of the originalia rolls. Location. By far and away the most common location from which the rolls were sent to the Exchequer was Westminster itself. Out of a total number of 59 occasions, the rolls were sent from Westminster nearly 80% of the time (47 times = 79.66%). This is hardly surprising. Clearly it was much easier for Ralph de Neville to hand the roll over when the Chancery was in close proximity to the Exchequer than when they were apart. That he was frequently recorded as doing the handing over personally shows the importance of the exercise. It was absolutely central to getting in the revenue of the king. 12
1.2. C 60/11 Fine Roll 3 Henry III (28 October 1218–27 October 1219), membranes 10, 1
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer as was previously sent, and the roll has been delivered at the Exchequer to the Treasurer by the hand of R. de Neville. 15 February 1219.
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and what is above has been delivered to the Treasurer by the hand of R. de Neville. 25 October 1219.
1.3. C 60/12 Fine Roll 4 Henry III (28 October 1219–27 October 1220), membranes 6, 3
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and what is above has been delivered to the Treasurer by the hand of R. de Neville. 8 March 1220.
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and what is above has been delivered to the Treasurer by the hand of R. de Neville. 24 July 1220.
1.4. C 60/15 Fine Roll 5 Henry III (28 October 1220–27 October 1221), membranes 10, 6, 3, 1
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and before it had been sent by the hand of R. de Neville upon the Exchequer. October 1220.
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and before it had been sent into the Exchequer by the hand of R. de Neville. 26 April 1221.
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and before it had been sent by the hand of Ralph de Neville . 2 August 1221.
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and before it had been sent by R. de Neville. 25 October 1221.
1.5. C 60/16 Fine Roll 6 Henry III (28 October 1221–27 October 1222)
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and before it had been sent by the hand of R. de Neville. 17 February 1222.
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and before it had been sent by the hand of R. de Neville at the Exchequer. 14 July 1222.
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer, and before it had been sent by the hand of R. de Neville, elect of Chichester. 27 October 1222.
1.6. C 60/18 Fine Roll 7 Henry III (28 October 1222–27 October 1223)
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and before it had been sent by the hand of R. elect of Chichester. 17 May 1223.
1.7. C 60/21 Fine Roll 8 Henry III (28 October 1223–27 October 1224)
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and before it had been sent by the hand of the bishop of Chichester. 14 May 1224.
⁋1 From here it is to be sent to the Exchequer and before it had been sent by the hand of the bishop of Chichester. 23 October 1224.
- For the originalia rolls and the financial system of which they are part see David Carpenter’s ‘Historical Introduction’ on this website. It can also be found on p.xiii of Calendar of the Fine Rolls of the Reign of Henry III. Volume 1: 1216–1224, ed. P. Dryburgh & B. Hartland, technical editors A. Ciula & J.M. Vieira (Woodbridge, 2007). For more detailed discussion with particular reference to the surviving originalia rolls for 1226–27 and 1232–33 see Paul Dryburgh, ‘Originalia Rolls 11 & 17 Henry III (1226–27, 1232–33)’ in Calendar of Fine Rolls of the Reign of Henry III. Volume II: 1224–1234, ed. P. Dryburgh & B. Hartland, technical editors Arianna Ciula & J.M. Vieira (Woodbridge, 2008), pp. x–xxiiii. Back to context...
- For all this see Dryburgh, ‘Originalia Rolls’, pp. xiii–xiv. Back to context...
- See CFR 1216–1224, p. xiii, n. 38. Back to context...
- This includes all entries, not just those which involved offers of money. Back to context...
- See Dryburgh, ‘Originalia Rolls’. Back to context...
- D.A. Carpenter, The Minority of Henry III, p. 65. Back to context...
- Carpenter, Minority, pp. 64–66, 70, 73, 80. Back to context...
- N. Vincent, Peter des Roches. An Alien in English politics 1205–1238 (Cambridge, 1996), chapters 12–13. Back to context...
- For the procedure see Dialogus de Scaccario, ed. C. Johnson (London, 1950), pp. 69–75, 78 which is pp. 104–113, 119 of Dialogus de Scaccario. Constitutio Domus Regis. New Edition, edited and translated by E. Amt and S.D. Church (Oxford, 2007). The Dialogus envisages the summonses being compiled from the previous year’s pipe roll and the estreat rolls sent in by the justices in eyre. It makes no mention of the originalia rolls, although they were almost certainly in use. This may be because the debts whose collection they originated were copied first onto the pipe rolls and only from there onto the summonses. Back to context...
- For example CFR 1220–21, no. 345; CFR 1221–22, no. 320; CFR 1222–23, no. 328; CFR 1223–24, no. 425. Back to context...
- CFR 1219–20, no. 295; CFR 1220–21, no. 1. Back to context...
- What follows is a list of the hinc mittendum est entries in the rolls for 2–8 Henry III in which Ralph de Neville is said to have delivered the extracts into the Exchequer. Back to context...