Parliament Rolls of Medieval England. Originally published by Boydell, Woodbridge, 2005.
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Introduction Michaelmas 1279
Michaelmas parliament (October-November)
The autumn parliament of 1279 may have begun as early as two weeks after Michaelmas (the week beginning 14 October). The king was at Westminster from 12 October onwards and it was to two weeks after Michaelmas that Maud the wife of Thomas of Dunster and Isabel the widow of Walter of Upham were adjourned by a chancery writ of 25 July after the sheriff of Wiltshire found by inquest that Isabel had falsely claimed to be pregnant to Maud's disinheritance. This was to allow the king to take proper advice from his council then, presumably at parliament, on what was to be done in the matter. (fn. m1279-foot-1) On 9 June 1279 the king had also instructed the barons of the exchequer to ensure that proclamations were made in each county that all those with grievances against Adam of Stratton as chamberlain of the exchequer or keeper of the works at Westminster should appear at the exchequer two weeks after Michaelmas to show their complaints and receive whatever remedy the council provided (presumably also in a session of parliament). (fn. m1279-foot-2) Nicholas of Weston failed to appear in the session of parliament three weeks after Michaelmas (the week beginning 21 October) to answer charges against him, though the order to seize his lands for this contempt was not issued till 15 November, perhaps at the end of parliament. (fn. m1279-foot-3) It was also then that the justices of the Yorkshire eyre were instructed to send the record of an action on the advowson of the church of Scarborough between the prior of Bridlington and the abbot of Citeaux, probably for consideration in parliament, but were unable to do so because of the attendance of the senior professional justice, William of Saham, and other colleagues at parliament. (fn. m1279-foot-4) It was one month after Michaelmas (the week beginning 28 October) that the prior of Worcester produced a charter of Henry III granting his predecessor the church of Bromsgrove before king and council at Westminster, presumably at the session of parliament, and thus secured a dismissal of the action brought against him in the king's name claiming this advowson. (fn. m1279-foot-5) The session of parliament probably lasted until mid-November. The mandate to the barons of the exchequer issued on 13 November in response to a complaint that the deputies of the chamberlain were charging excessive fees for searching for chirographs, enrolments, writs and tallies, even when this was in response to orders from the king or his justices, and ordering that in future this be done for nothing was probably the outcome of discussion in parliament. (fn. m1279-foot-6) The statute of Mortmain, issued on either 14 or 15 November, was clearly discussed and approved there. (fn. m1279-foot-7) Parliament was almost certainly over by the time that the king left Westminster around 22 November.
There is no surviving official record of the business done at this parliament. As already noted, the statute of Mortmain was enacted at it. It was also at this parliament that archbishop Pecham appeared and withdrew some of the sentences of automatic excommunication that had been promulgated at the council of Reading. (fn. m1279-foot-8) Parliament was also intended to discuss various politically sensitive cases relating to the franchises claimed by the archbishop of Canterbury and the men of the Cinque Ports and the earl of Gloucester. Solomon of Rochester, one of the justices of the southern eyre circuit who was present at parliament, sent instructions to his colleagues who were not there to ensure the relevant records were sent. (fn. m1279-foot-9) The case between Llewelyn ap Gruffudd and Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn about Arwystli was set for hearing at this parliament but then adjourned to the following parliament. (fn. m1279-foot-10) It was probably also at this parliament that the decision was taken to commission the next stage of the 'southern' eyre circuit (on 16 October). (fn. m1279-foot-11) It was also apparently at this parliament that a new form of writ for holding enquiries into whether an infant tenant in chief had come of age was approved. (fn. m1279-foot-12) There is also a cluster of royal charters issued on various dates between 30 October and 15 November. (fn. m1279-foot-13)