Year Book – Plea Roll matching

This is where I am going to put records and reports of cases as I discover them.


1292 Herefordshire eyre test for curtesy

A note on curtesy, and the requirements which a man must meet in order to claim to hold by the curtesy of England (proof of a live birth to his wife – specifically a baby’s cry being heard) YB Trin. 20 Edw I pl 39; Seipp 1292.88 refers to the case of Richard Danyel v Richard de la Bere (Herefordshire Eyre 1292) JUST 1/303 m. 6.  Richard Danyel, claiming the land formerly held by his mother, argued that Richard had not had qualifying issue with Cecily. De la Bere claimed that Cecily had given birth to his (qualifyingly noisy) child at Bishopston. A jury was summoned (the Year Book has some comments on the appropriate place from which to draw a jury when the alleged birth was in one place and the land in another). The jury told a sad tale of a very sick baby and an emergency baptism at home, then a brief visit to the church, after which it died, without having qualified, in auditory terms, as the right kind of offspring to give the father a right to curtesy. The crying test for curtesy is being taken seriously – and, as this case shows, could be used to exclude severely unwell children, even if they appear to have been viewed alive by at least a priest. Richard Danyel did not pursue the case, and should have been amerced for this failure, but was forgiven because he was a minor. Exactly what his role was in this story is unclear, but it does not suggest a happy family.

1292 dower in Bench and Herefordshire eyre

YB Trin. 20 Edw. I pl. 73, Seipp 1292.122rs seems to be Sibilla, widow of Philip de Wormeley v Hugh de Baddeschawe and Dionisia his wife, and Dionisia, Margaret and Isabella, their daughters (1292), a case which was heard both in the Bench and at the eyre of Hereford: CP 40/92 m. 72d; JUST 1/303 m. 22d. Both cases concern dower, and in both cases, a ‘not legitimately married’ defence is mentioned, though the Year Book case also mentions other pleading points.

1292 Herefordshire nuisance – or not

Robert v William le Chandeus YB Trin 20 Edw I pl. 83; Seipp 1292.132rs appears to be Hereford eyre case Richard de Baggingden v Walter de Chandos (1292) JUST 1/302 m., concerning an alleged nuisance caused by the construction of a ditch (foss) in a wood, which Richard said was causing him problems in fetching wood by cart to his house, since he now had to take a lengthy detour. There was a dispute as to whether it was causing serious problems, and it was decided that it was not really a nuisance, so Richard lost, and was amerced for a false claim.

 1292 Herefordshire trespass/alibi case

YB Trin 20 Edw I pl. 84; Seipp 1292.133rs is John Lovet v. Walter de la Barre and others (1292), JUST I/303 m. 30d; JUST 1/302 m. 40d, a trespass case brought in the Herefordshire eyre by John Lovet against Walter de la Barre and 27 other men, alleging that, on a specific day in the fourteenth year of Edward II, at Hereford, the Ds had assaulted and imprisoned P (keeping him for 18 days)  and taken £20 worth of his goods (to his damage, with force and arms contrary to the peace of the lord king). P claimed the damages to him amounted to £40. Two of the defendants pleaded alibis – John Lyghtefot claimed to have been in London on the day named, and William Hamelyn said he had been in Bristol. The matter was sent to the jury. The Yearbook tells us that the remaining defendants made other pleas – suggesting that this was a lawful arrest, and also self defence (when John, who had been involved in a crime, fled and attempted to resist arrest with a sword) rather than an unlawful attack. It adds further pleading points and information about the powers of bailiffs.

1292 Herefordshire eyre writ of right case 

Robert de Val v Edmund Mortimer YB Trin 20 Edw I pl. 57; Seipp 1292.106 rs, appears to be JUST I/302 m. 23; JUST 1/303 m.23. This is a writ of right dispute over the manor of Thornbury which, in the Year Book report, involves pleading concerning Magna Carta and the rights of chief lords as well as an issue relating to the ramifications of joint feoffment and the exclusion or inclusion of a wife in a writ. The plea rolls deal only with the joint grant point.

1292 Herefordshire eyre writ of entry/dower

Reynald de Balun v Edmund Mortimer (1292) YB Trin. 20 Edw I pl. 85; Seipp 1292.134rs appears to be JUST 1/302 m.33d; JUST 1/303 m. 21. This is a case concerning land in Much Marcle, involving a writ of entry, and a partially competing dower action. The eyre entries indicate that it was also discussed in the Bench.

Hugh Audley and his wife v Reynald de Balun (1292) YB Trin, 20 Edw. I pl. 98; Seipp 1292.147rs is JUST 1/302 m.12d; JUST 1/303 m.38d (AALT images 8445; 8885) is the related dower case, also involving the manor of Much Marcle.

1293 covenants case

YB Trin 21 Edw. 1 pl. 16 (Seipp 1293.217rs) is the case found in the plea roll CP 40/101 m. 32

See this post.

1316 dower case

YB 10 Edw. II Mich. pl 9; Seipp 1316.055ss is probably Isabella, widow of William de Myners v. Alice wife of Adam de Penbrugge  CP 40/215 m. 212 – a Herefordshire dower case in which there is discussion of the effect of a wife’s default on a husband, with some interesting material on the idea that wives should be under their husbands’ control.

1329 appeal by an excommunicate

A Cambridgeshire appeal of robbery from 1329E showed pleading relating to the excommunicate status of the woman bringing it. It qualified for two  slightly varying Year Book reports – YB Pasch. 3 Edw III pl 33 f. 19a;  Seipp 1329.072  and also 3 Edw. III Lib. Ass. 12 f. 5b; Seipp 1329.171ass;, and I have found the plea roll entry in the King’s Bench roll for Easter term 1329: KB 27/276 Rex m.9;; see also m.9d; which is connected. Margaret le Hornere v. Master Richard Badowe, Stephen Bedel and Thomas Bedel. See blog post 25/1/2018. 

1330 Murdak property cases

Seipp 1330.430ss and Seipp 1330.704ss; D.W. Sutherland, The Eyre of Northamptonshire 3-4 Edw. III (1329-30), 97 and 98 Selden Society pp. 216-7, 588-9 refer to the case of Juliana Murdak, burnt for the murder of her husband. The killing of Thomas Murdak took place in 1316 and Juliana was burnt, after much legal activity, in 1321. Plea roll details available in G Wrottesley (ed.), William Salt Soc x, 38; xiv, 18. There are several references to the case and forfeiture in CCR and CIPM. It is also dealt with by P.R. Coss in The Lady in Medieval England pp. 131-8 and in ‘An age of deference’, pp. 31-72 in R Horrox and WM Ormrod (eds), A Social History of England 1200-1500 (Cambridge, 2006), p. 48. I will be discussing this case in a forthcoming book on women in the medieval common law.

1345 contempt case

Seipp 1345.237rs is KB 27/341 Rex m. 30 (AALT IMG 334) (roll of Trinity 1345, with later additions). See The price of contempt? Menacing a King’s Bench jury | Bracton’s Sister (

1351 mayhem case

YB Pasch. 25 Edw III f. 85a pl. 22 seems to be this 1351 plea roll case.

See this post.

1354 mayhem cases

Seipp 1354.043 is probably KB 27/376 m. 10 [AALT IMG 3179], Robert de Yakesle v. Thomas de Ribbeford  (KB 1354T). In both roll and report, there is a request that the wound in question should be looked at by two London doctors, to see whether or not it amounts to mayhem.  The facts of 1354.099ass also deal with medical evidence in a mayhem case, though with some more details, and suggesting a degree of recognition by the court of its own lack of expertise in terms of assessing the fresh wound. Might this be the same case?

Seipp 1354.044 looks to me like KB 27/376 m.10 (AALT IMG 2925), John, parson of the Church of Stowe v Hugh the Ironmonger of Daventry (KB, 1354T). since both cases involve injury to the finger next to the little finger. The Year Book suggests a querying by D of whether this could amount to mayhem, followed by a clear ruling that it could, and an alternative plea of self-defence. The Plea Roll, as one would expect, only records the self-defence plea actually relied upon.

1354 labour law case

Featuring a very small servant, see this post

YB Pasch. 29 Edw. III f. 27 p. 29;  Seipp 1355.085  = CP 40/381 m. 59d

1364 warren trespass case

A Year Book report of a Common Pleas case of Easter term 1364 YB Pasch. 38 Edw. III pl. 16 f. 10b (Seipp 1364.046) can be identified with the plea roll record: Abbot of St Peter of Gloucester v. Almaric le Botiller CP 40/ 417 m. 111.  See blog post, 31st May, 2017.

The Prior’s Case (1368) YB 42 Edw III f.3 pl. 14; Co. Litt. 385a

The record is CP 40/430 m.60 (1368H).

The parties are Laurence Pabenham, knight (P) and the Prior of Esseby. ‘Esseby Priory’ may be Canons Ashby/ Ashby Priory, a house of Austin canons, in Northamptonshire. The chapel where services were to be provided was Henwick (Northants). The record is relatively full in terms of arguments made, but ends with the conclusion of the case being delayed a number of times, finally to Michaelmas term.

1370 bastardy case: Seipp 1370.044 or YB Pasch. 44 Edw. III pl. 21 f. 12b. The Plea Roll record is CP 40/438 m. 370d (AALT IMG 5516).

YB Mich. 11 Henry IV pl. 25 f. 12a-12b; Seipp 1409.036 is  John Payn and Richard atte Felde, wardens of fabric of the church of Chobham (Surrey) v. Robert, vicar of that church (1409)  KB 27/594 m.20 (AALT image 47) , a King’s Bench trespass case involving, amongst other things, alleged breaking of a bell.  See blog post ‘Chobham’s Broken Bell’.

A case mentioned in a YB of 1421

Seipp 1421.092 includes mention of a case which is from 1419, from a gaol delivery session in Leicestershire.

Agnes Glover v Walter Devereux, William Herbert and others (1457) , YB Pasch. 35 Hen. VI f. 57b-58b; Seipp 1457.022. I identify this with KB 27/784 m. 85 (AALT image 180).   Appeal of homicide of husband. See blog post ‘A Hereford Hanging’. I will be examining several aspects of this case in my forthcoming book on women in the medieval common law.

1461 ravishment case matched. A 1461 case on ‘ravishment of wife and goods’ which is reported as YB Mich. 1 Edw. IV pl. 2 f.1a; Seipp 1461.018 can be matched with KB 27/802 m. 43, Thomas Wilcotes v John Newers. See blog post 12/05/2017.

1476 trespass (etc) case This case (Seipp 1476.015) is KB 27/858 m. 66 ff, the case noted in my post here

Laurence Hylles v Henry atte Hope (1478) I identify this with Seipp 1478.009, an appeal brought by a son in relation to the death of his mother, against his (?former) stepfather. I will be examining this case in my forthcoming book on women in the medieval common law. [1/4/2014]

Master and fraternity of the nine orders of angels of Bransford or Syon v. Peter Pokelyngton and others (1482) YB Mich. 22 Edw IV pl. 13. Seipp 1482.130. This common pleas assize case from Middlesex, considering the existence and legal status of the fraternity is CP 40/882 m.118-119d, AALT images 227-231.

Richard and Isabel Whele’s case (1483) YB Hil. 22 Edw IV; Seipp 1483.010

This appears to be KB 27/885 m. 39d, though there are some discrepancies with regard to the length of the alleged false imprisonment. I will be exploring this case in my forthcoming book. 6/1/2014. There is more on Richard Whele’s problems with the allegation of being a Scot on KB 27/884 m. 91 (see blog post ‘Whele meet again’ 2/3/2014.

1484 mayhem case

Year Book report, YB Mich. 2 Ric. III pl. 38 f.13b, noted here in Seipp is probably KB 27/894 m. 36, here – see this post.

1489 M Richard Wynslowe v. John Cleypole (1489)

CP 40/910 m. 340 (IMG 65); = Seipp 1489.041; BU Law | Our Faculty | Scholarship | Legal History: The Year Books : Report #1489.041

See Arrest, authority and a poisoning allegation: excusing trespass in fourteenth-century Leicestershire | Bracton’s Sister (

1491 rape case

The Year Book case is YB Trin. 6 H VII f 5 pl 4 (Seipp 1491.020). The plea roll entry is one of three possibles on the King’s Bench roll for Trinity 1491:

  1. KB 27/920 Rex m. 5 (AALT IMG 209) This is a case from Berkshire before John Horne, in which Richard Patte of Sulhamstead, clerk, was alleged to have raped a widow, Margaret Huys, lately wife of John Phelippe.
  2. KB 27/920 Rex m. 3d (AALT IMG 463) This also comes from Berkshire, from John Horne’s tourn. John Hyde, recently of Sonning, clerk, was alleged to have raped Elizabeth, wife of James Trell.
  3. Yes, it’s Berkshire and John Horne again! KB 27/920 m. 3d (AALT IMG 465): Stephen Bregyn, clerk, was accused of raping Alice Robyns, wife of John Robyns.

(or an amalgamation of these. See blogpost here.)

1491 mayhem case

YB Pasch. 6 Henry VII pl 1 f 41b appears to be KB 27/919 m. 29.[i] It is a case from Devon, Walter Chapman v. Thomas Preston and others. See this post.