This, the third volume of Feet of Fines, or Final Concords, for
Lancashire, contains abstracts of all the transcripts of Fines preserved amongst the Palatinate of Lancaster Records in the Public
Record Office. (fn. 1) As a rule these documents are in very bad
condition, owing to disregard for their preservation prior to
their removal from Lancaster Castle in 1868. (fn. 2) The injury has
mainly arisen from damp, and may probably be attributed to
the wretched parsimony of Queen Elizabeth and a consequent
failure to protect from the weather the building in which these
and other Palatinate documents were then housed. (fn. 3) Consequently this series of Fines, covering the period from 1377 to
1509, is marred by numerous deficiencies. Not a single Fine
remains for the reign of Henry IV., and many years in the
subsequent reigns are unrepresented. I have endeavoured to
repair this defect to some extent by adding abstracts of any Fines
which have been preserved in private MSS., and also from the
Chancellors' Rolls the record of Fines paid for writs, some of
which relate to pleas which were terminated by the levying of a
fine. But these additions represent only a trifling addition in
comparison to the destruction effected by the negligence of former
During the period covered by this volume the legal process of
establishing and confirming a transfer of land by the suffering of
a "recovery," in addition to the levying of a "fine," began to
come into vogue. Wherever the record of a plea entered in the
Palatinate Plea Rolls seems to record the process employed in
leading to a recovery, an abstract has been included in this
volume. Other abstracts of the same nature have been added
from Kuerden's MSS. and from private MSS.
The series of Final Concords commencing with the reign of
Henry VIII. and extending down to 1834, when this process
was abolished, are practically complete and in a good state of
preservation. Abstracts of all Fines down to the reign of
Charles I., and of a selection of all the more important Fines
down to the year 1800, are in my possession, and are available
for printing whenever the Society decides to continue the publication of this class of record.
I am indebted to Mr. W. K. Boyd, of Highgate, N., for
abstracts of those Fines which are preserved in the Public Record
Office; and to my secretary, Mr. Thomas Price, for compiling
Near Carnforth, 7th July 1905.
||Prothonotary's Records, Bundles 1—1 to 6 John of Gaunt; 2—7 to 11 John
of Gaunt; 3—12 to 20 John of Gaunt; 4—21 and 22 John of Gaunt; 5—1 to 10
Henry V.; 6—1 to 27 Henry VI.; 7—28 and 29 Henry VI.; 8—various years
of Henry VI. and Edward IV.; 9—10, 17, and 19 Edward VI.; 10—Henry
VII. 35th Report of the Deputy-Keeper of the Public Records, App. no. 2, 49.
||30th Report of the Deputy-Keeper of the Public Records, i–viii.
||By far the most serious loss sustained by the county in this respect has been
the destruction of all the Palatinate Plea Rolls—save two rolls for the 2 Henry
IV. and 7 Henry VI.—from 1377 to 1441.