Introduction: Royal Charters of confirmation

Pages xxxix-xli

Final Concords of the County of Lincoln 1244-1272. Originally published by Lincol Record Society, Horncastle, 1920.

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The final concord relating to land in Edlington, (fn. 1) was confirmed by a royal charter, a practice which, in the twelfth century, was occasionally resorted to in order to supply additional force and sanctity to the transaction. Dr. Round cites three other instances of such charters of confirmation; and he remarks that in each case the concord was made before the king himself. (fn. 2) At the levying of the Edlington concord, the king was not present. The concord is dated 12 March, 1175–6, and Dr. Round (fn. 3) has shewn that the charter cannot be placed later than the end of the following May, because two of its witnesses, the bishop of Oxford and Baldwin Buelot, were among the envoys whom the king sent to Sicily at the close of that month. The charter, which is only known in a copy preserved in the Bardney Abbey cartulary, is as follows:


H. dei gracia rex Anglorum et dux Normannorum et Aquitanorum. et comes Andegauorum . archiepiscopis . episcopis . abbatibus . comitibus . baronibus . iusticiariis . vicecomitibus . et omnibus ministris et fidelibus suis tocius Anglie. Salutem . Sciatis me concessisse et presenti carta confirmasse conuencionem et concordiam que racionabiliter facta fuit inter abbatem et monachos de Bardeneia. et Thomam Bardolf et vxorem eius Roeis filiam Radulfi Hauselin et heredes eorum de terra de Edlingtona sicut cirographum inter eos inde factum coram Hugone de Gundevilla. et Willelmo Basset tunc iusticiariis meis in comitatu Lincolnie'. et carta ipsius Thome testantur . Quare uolo et firmiter precipio quod predicti monachi prenominatam terram quam Thomas Bardolf et vxor eius Roeis eis clamauerunt quietam; habeant et teneant cum omnibus pertinenciis suis in bosco et plano. in pratis et pasturis . in aquis et molendinis. in viis et semitis et in omnibus aliis locis et aliis rebus ad illam terram pertinentibus bene et in pace et libere. et quiete. [et (fn. 4) ] integre . et honorifice secundum conuencionem et concordiam inter eos factam et Thomam et vxorem eius prenominatam et secundum testimonium cirographi et cartam que inde habentur . Testibus . H. [Pudsey (fn. 5) ] Dunelmensi. J. [Oxoniensi (fn. 6) ] Norwicensi episcopis. H. de Creissi . Thoma Bardolf. Willelmo de Romara. Baldwino Buelot . Roberto de Stuteuilla. Reginaldo de Warenna. H. de Longo Campo . Roberto filio Bernardi . et Thoma fratre suo apud Windesouer. (fn. 7) [From 12 March, 1175–6, to the end of May, 1176].

After the year 1195, when it became the practice to preserve in the Treasury the copies of final concords known as feet of fines, (fn. 8) charters of confirmation are seldom found.

The Edlington concord is also interesting, in that the Bardney cartulary has not only preserved the royal charter confirming it, but also the charter of the grantor which preceded it. This charter must be placed before October, 1175, because it is witnessed by the sheriff of Lincolnshire, Walter of Grimsby, whose term of office ended at Michaelmas in that year. It is valuable as proving that the suit which ended in the final concord in the following March was a very early case of fictitious litigation, a collusive action brought upon a pretended breach of covenant. When the case came before the court the charter was produced in evidence and, as a note in the cartulary adds, was read before the justices of the lord the king, namely Hugh de Gundevile and William Basset, (fn. 9) in the county court at Lincoln. The charter runs as follows:

Thomas Bardulf'. Omnibus hominibus Francis et Anglis tam presentibus quam futuris. salutem . Notum sit uobis omnibus. quod ego Thomas et vxor mea . Roesia. et heredes mei bona uoluntate remittimus calumpniam quam fecimus uersus abbatem et monachos de Bardeneia. per breve Regis . de terra de Edelingtona . quam clamaui ex parte uxoris mee et heredum meorum. et si quid iuris in predicta terra habuimus communi consilio dimisimus et predictam terram quietam et solam clamauimus . et auxilium nostrum uersus omnes homines prefatos monachos de supradicta terra infestantes in fide et ueritate prestaturos pepigimus . Hiis . testibus . Comite Simone . R. Marmiun . Valtero vicecomite . etcetera . Hec carta fuit lecta coram iusticiariis. domini regis . scilicet Hugone de Gundeuile. Willelmo Basset in comitatu apud Lincolniam. (fn. 10)


  • 1. See below, p. 311.
  • 2. Eng. Hist. Rev., xii, 297–299; see also, Feudal England, 510 ff.
  • 3. Eng. Hist. Rev., xii, 300.
  • 4. Et has been omitted.
  • 5. Interlineated by a late hand. The bishop was Hugh de Puiset or Pudsey, bishop of Durham from 1153 to 1195.
  • 6. Interlineated by the same hand as before. The bishop was John of Oxford, bishop of Norwich from 1175 to 1200.
  • 7. British Museum, Cotton MS., Vespasian E., xx, f. 42.
  • 8. See above, p. xxviii, xxix.
  • 9. It may be observed that in the concord another justice is named i.e., William son of Ralph (see below p. 311). The Pipe Roll of 22 Henry II shews that the three justices held pleas at Lincoln (Pipe Roll Society, xxv, 82, 88).
  • 10. British Museum, Cotton MS., Vespasian E., xx, f. 98d.