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A CALENDAR OF THE FEET OF FINES FOR BEDFORDSHIRE.

PART III.

EDITED BY G. HERBERT FOWLER.

The Final Concords or (briefly) Fines of which a further instalment" is here calendared, are often individually and in themselves uninteresting, but no series of documents is more valuable for tracing the descent of families and estates, the slow rearrangement of tenures which followed on the increase of population, the gradual dissemination of prosperity, and the increasing importance of the yeoman class.

The reasons for the levy of a Final Concord, and the steps in its preparation, have already been discussed in our publications, and need not be repeated. The present Calendar is a little fuller than the former, especially as regards the extent of the land at issue. The larger part has been prepared by Miss Grogan from the Feet of Fines levied during the reign of Edward I, which are preserved at the Public Record Office. To these the present editor has added those Final Concords for Diverse Counties' in the same reign which touched Bedfordshire; and he has also appended a few of earlier reigns, gleaned from various sources, in supplement of the former volume.

a. The first two parts, extending up to the end of the reign of Henry III, form vol. vi of the Society's publications.

b. B.H.R.S., vi, 1-7, 65. To the references there given should now be added Canon C. W. Foster's Introduction to Lincolnshire Final Concords. (Lincs. Rec. Soc., xvii).

The order of the Fines in the Calendar is their order on the files of the Public Record Office, that is, they are arranged by regnal years, but are not always in true sequence of date within those years. The order in which the contents of each Fine are calendared, is their order in the document itself, namely—

(1) the place where sat the Court before which the Fine was levied :

(2) the date, in its original and [modern] form:

(3) the names of the parties :

(4) the subject of the suit which was (conventionally) ended by the Fine:

(5) the nature of the plea, if specified :

(6) the party whose right' or title was being placed

on record:

(7) the rent and/or services by which the subject would be held :

(8) the consideration (alleged to be) paid by the party whose title is thus recorded:

(9) [the case / file / and number in file, of the Foot of the Fine at the P.R.O., or a reference to some other source from which the Fine has been calendared.]

No conveyance of land could free it from the services which were incumbent on that land. Accordingly, if A.B. conveys land to C.D. in a Fine, to be held by doing the feudal services appurtenant to that land, he is parting with his interests outright, and merely putting C.D. in his own place. If he conveys the land, to be held by id. rent to himself and by doing the feudal services, he ceases to be the occupier or tenant-in-fee, but he reserves to himself something resembling the 'perpetual ground rent' of to-day; C.D. becomes the occupier, and must do whatever services are due from the land to superior lords (the forinsec service). If A.B. conveys the lands, to be held merely by a rent to himself, he is in most cases only granting a lease, and must himself do the feudal service to the superior lord.

For the sake of brevity, the sentences which assign these services have been cut down; the full statement-" by doing therefor to the chief lords of that fee on behalf of the aforesaid A. B. and his heirs all other services which pertain to that fee "-appears in the Calendar by some such curtailed phrase as by doing the services appurtenant or "the feudal services."

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The laborious task of preparing the Index of Persons and Places was most kindly undertaken by Mrs. A. V. Jenkinson, to whom the Society and the editor are greatly indebted.

THE CALENDAR.

I EDWARD I (1272-1273).

1. Westm. Three weeks from Easter [30 April 1273] Henry Troue and Matilda his wife against William son of Michael and Joan his wife. Two mess. 39ac. land in Bedford. Plea of covenant. Right of Henry and Matilda. They quitclaimed to Henry and Matilda and to the heirs of Henry, for themselves and the heirs of Joan. Consideration, ten pounds sterling. [3/29/1.]

2. Westm. One month from Easter [7 May 1273] Master Roger de Seyton against John de Holewell'. Manor of Holewell'. Plea of warranty of charter. Right of Master Roger, who granted it to John and Mabel (Amabilia) his wife, and to the heirs of the body of John to be held from Master Roger and his heirs, by the service of a fortieth part of one knight's fee. Remainder to Mabel for life. If John shall die without heirs of his body, after the death of Mabel, the manor shall revert to Master Roger and his heirs, to be held from the chief lords of that fee. Moreover Master Roger has released to John a debt of 330 marks. [3/29/2.]

3. Westm. Octave of Trinity [11 June, 1273] Walter son of Thomas de Bolhurst against Richard son of Sylvester Finch of Perthenhal' and Joan his wife. Mess. and 15ac. land in Bolhurst. Right of Walter.

They rendered it to him and quitclaimed for themselves and the heirs of John. Consideration, a hundred

shillings. [3/29/3.]

4. Westm. Morrow of All Souls [3 November 1273] John Duraunt of Dunstaple against William Moys and Alice his wife. Mess. in Dunstaple. Plea of warranty of charter. Right of John, to be held from them, and from the heirs of Alice, by d. at Easter, and by the feudal services appurtenant. Clause of warranty. Consideration, a sore sparrow hawk. [3/29/4.] 5. Westm. Octave of Trinity [11 June, 1273] Simon Gerome, William Cuterel, and Ralph Maynnard and Lecia his wife against Humfrey de Bereford. ths of 1 mess., of 1 car., and of a moiety of one virgate of land in Bereford, Rockesdon and Langenho. Right of Humfrey. They quitclaimed to him for themselves and their heirs. Consideration, 20m. [3/29/5.]

6. Westm. Morrow of the Ascension [19 May 1273] John de Croxton' of Shelton' against John de Gatesden'. Advowson of church of Shelton. Assize of darrein presentment. Right of John de Croxton'. John de Gatesden' quitclaimed to him, for himself and his heirs. Consideration, a sore sparrowhawk. [3/29/6.] 2 EDWARD I (1273-1274).

7. Westm. Octave of St. Hilary [20 January 1274] William son of Thomas, by Roger de Sucote his attorney, against Thomas le Rus of Hocton by William de Chiltham his attorney. Mess. and 30ac. land in Hocton. Warranty of charter. Right of William, who granted the messuage and land to Thomas and Agnes his wife, for their lives, to hold from him and the heirs of his body, by 6d. rent at Lady Day, and by the feudal services appurtenant. If William shall die without heirs of his body, or if his heirs shall die without heirs of their bodies, then after the death of Thomas and Agnes, the premises shall remain to Gregory brother of the said Thomas and his heirs, to be held of the chief lords of that fee. [3/29/7.]

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