OF OBSCURE, OBSOLETE, TECHNICAL AND NON-ENGLISH WORDS
AND PHRASES WHICH OCCUR IN THE FOREGOING PAGES. (fn. 1)
Abbot, fem. Abbess. (Latin abbas, abbatissa.) The superior of a
monastic house of first rank, which is termed an abbey.
Acquittance. A document freeing a person from liability.
Administrator. A person appointed by the Court to wind up
and distribute the personal estate of one who has died intestate
or without having appointed executors.
Advowry, advoury (Latin advocaria.) Rent paid for the agistment
Advowson (Latin advocatio.) The right of presentation to a vacant
benefice. In such records as the Ministers' Accounts this word
means tribute paid to the Lord of Glamorgan by Welshmen
who held no land individually.
Agistment (French gite, a lair.) The pasturing of another's cattle
on one's land.
Alderman (elder man.) One of a certain select number of the
senior members of a Borough Council, next to the Mayor in
civic dignity; generally elected by the Council to hold office
Aletaster. A municipal officer charged with the testing of the ale
and beer brewed and sold within the borough, to ensure its
purity and wholesomeness.
Allhalontide. The festival of All Hallows, or All Saints (1 November), with the eve and the octave.
Altar. A sacrificial table. The table-shaped structure in a Catholic
church, surmounted by a consecrated slab of stone, whereon
"the sacrifice of the Mass" (the eucharistic oblation) is
offered up. The principal A. in a church is termed the High
Altar cloth (I 386.) A covering of cloth, silk or other similar
material, laid over the surface of the altar and hanging down
Amercement, amerciament. A fine assessed by a Jury.
Antiphon. A chant sung alternately by two sides of a choir.
Antiphoner (Latin antiphonarium.) A book containing the various
antiphons sung in the daily Office of the Catholic Church.
Ap, ab (Welsh.) "Son of."
Apprise, appraise. To estimate the value of an article.
Apparitor. The process-server of an ecclesiastical Court.
Approvement. Improved value of lands or tenements.
Appurtenance. What belongs to and goes with the enjoyment of a
Armorial. Embellished with a coat-of-arms.
Aron, Arund. A Welsh male personal name. (It has no connection
with the Hebrew Aaron.)
Articulate. Mentioned in an Article of the Interrogatories in Star
Assign. A person to whom personal property is made over by its
Assize. The regulation of the weight, measure and price of certain
common articles of food, particularly bread and ale.
Atchievement (heraldry.) A complete set of the heraldic insignia
of an individual, consisting of the shield or coat-of-arms, with
helmet, mantlings, wreath, crest, scroll and motto; and, in
certain cases, garter or chain, coronet, supporters, second crest,
badge and war-cry.
Attachment. Arrest effected by a writ.
Attorney. A person appointed to act in another's place in some
formal transaction. An obsolete name for a Solicitor.
Attaint, attainted (Latin attinctus.) Deprived of civil rights as a
consequence of undergoing sentence of death or outlawry.
Augmentation Papers. Documents relating to proceedings in the
Court of Augmentation of the Revenues of the Crown, established by King Henry VIII. to deal with the confiscated
Avoid. To cease.
Backe, The. (I. 399.) Welsh Back, Bristol, where vessels trading
to Welsh ports were moored, and Welsh mariners resorted.
Bailiff. (Law Latin Ballivus.) A land-steward. A high officer
representing the lord's civil jurisdiction over a borough.
The chief magistrate of a municipality, and the head of the
corporation. This office, which in some towns was held by
two persons jointly, has in most cases been changed for that
Bailiwick. The office of bailiff. The district over which the
bailiff's jurisdiction extends.
Band. A bond.
Banneret (heraldry.) A little square, fringed banner, upheld by one
or both the supporters of the shield. It bears usually the
paternal coat-of-arms in miniature.
Bar, Pleas in. Pleadings which, if allowed, barred an action.
There were two of these, viz., Non culpabilis and Autrefois
acquit. The former was "not guilty"; the latter meant that
the accused had been previously tried and acquitted on the
Barrator. An encourager of litigation, one who goes to law with
his neighbour on the smallest provocation.
Barton. Properly, the home farm of a manor; used also to denote
a small manor, in some cases.
Baston. A tipstaff, a Sheriff's officer, a warder.
Battery. A beating.
Baugh, bagh. A corrupt spelling of the Welsh bach, the Little, the
Beadle (Low Latin bedellus, from Saxon bidan.) A crier or messenger
of a Court.
Bearing bill. A small axe, worn at the girdle.
Bedelry. The district within the jurisdiction of a beadle.
Bend (heraldry.) A band crossing the shield diagonally from left to
right of the spectator.
Bendlet (heraldry.) A narrow variety of the bend (q.v)
"Ben Dee" (Welsh ben du.) "Black-head," a personal nickname.
Benedictiones. The original order of Western monks, founded by
Saint Benedict in the 6th century. They wear a black habit
with very wide sleeves, and have, always been distinguished
for their devotion to literature and the arts. English civilization, in particular, owes much to the Black Monks.
Bill of Complaint The formulated written statement of a
Complainant, in the Star Chamber and some other Courts
Billa vera (Latin.) "A true Bill." The finding of a Grand Jury that
there is a prima facie case against the prisoner, to be tried by
the Judge and Petty Jury.
Bills. A pair of sharp iron implements forming part of the machinery
of a mill.
Bole. A corrupt spelling of the Welsh word bôl, the belly. Used as
a nickname for a fat man.
Bondsman. A serf, a villein, an unfree tenant of the lord of a
manor, bound to the soil and to a periodical performance of
bodily labour on the lord's demesne. A surety.
Booth-hall. An old English name for a Town Hall.
Borough. A town possessed of certain privileges, municipal or
Branche (I, 384.) A branched candlestick or chandelier.
Brazill (I, 356.) A Brazilian wood affording a red dye.
Brassing (I, 283.) Brazen.
Brewyn (Welsh brwyn, rushes.) "The Trinity Brewyn" was a
place in the town of Cardiff (1542), probably the same as the
Trinity Garden, or near it, and so called from rushes or sedges
Bridges satten (I, 381.) Bruges satin.
Brodreed (I, 384.) Embroidered.
Buckler. A small, round shield.
Burgage. A tenement holden of the lord at a fixed yearly rent, in an
Burgess. An inhabitant of a borough, entitled to full municipal
rights and privileges, especially the right to vote at the
election of a Councilman.
Burgh (Teutonic.) A walled and fortified town; thence, a
Caliver. A small naval gun.
Candlemas. The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin
Mary, kept on the 2nd day of February. So called because
the ceremonial at the Mass of that day includes the blessing
and offering of wax candles.
Cantref, cantred. (Welsh cant tref, "a hundred homesteads.") A
Caparisons. The trappings of a knight's horse, when in full martial
Capias utlegatum. Latin ("thou shalt take the outlaw.") The
title of a writ directing the Sheriff to arrest such a person.
Capitage. A tax paid by a bondsman to his lord for liberty to
reside out of the manor.
Capital, adj. Chief, head, principal, belonging to the lord. Thus a
capital messuage means the chief house on an estate, or the
mansion-house of a manor.
Capital Burgess. One elected to the Town Council to represent
the burgesses in the deliberations of their representatives; now
termed a Councillor.
Carmelites. Heremitical friars. One of the four mendicant orders,
but claiming to be of much more ancient origin than the
others. In England they were known as White Friars, from
the white hooded cloak worn over their russet habit.
Carbote. Necessary timber, found on an estate, for the repair of
the carts and wains.
Castle Bailey. The precincts of a castle; dwelling-houses erected
within its outer wall.
Castle Ward. The feudal service of manning the walls of the lord's
castle, for its defence. A tax levied to defray the expense of
Casualty (I, 347.) A chance profit accruing to the lord.
Catchpole. A constable.
Cate (I, 325.) ? Caterer.
Cathedral Church. One in which stands the Bishop's permanent
and official cathedra (Latin), i.e., chair; and where, in consequence, the episcopal rites and functions of the see are
Causey. (French chaussee.) A causeway, or metalled highroad.
Ceassed (I, 355.) Assessed.
Cell. A monastic house of lesser rank than a priory, and dependent
on a priory or abbey.
Cellarer. A monk charged with the care of the food and drink of a
Censer. A vessel in which incense is burned on live charcoal, in
certain rites of the Catholic Church. The thurifer holds the C.
by chains, and swings it, while the perfumed smoke arises
through orifices in the cover.
Chace. Land on which big game is preserved.
Chalice (Latin calix.) A cup, of precious metal, for the reception of
the wine at the celebration of Mass. It has a wide and rather
shallow bowl, a bulky knob halfway down the short stem, and a
wide base or foot. (After the Reformation the C. was replaced
by the Communion-cup, a much more capacious vessel, with a
deeper and narrower bowl, a longer, knobless stem, and a
smaller foot—an alteration significant of changes in doctrine
Chancel (Latin cancellum.) The eastern and most sacred portion of
a church, containing the high altar. So called because separated
from the nave by a cancellum or screen of wood, stone or
Chancery (Latin cancellaria.) A Court of equity, the highest Court
next to Parliament. A division of the High Court of Justice.
Chantry. A chapel founded for securing a regular and perpetual
celebration of Mass, usually for the soul of some particular
Chantry lands. Lands and tenements which, before the Reformation,
were charged for the perpetual maintenance of a priest to say
Mass and prayers for the repose of the donor's soul and the
souls of his friends.
Chapel (Latin capella.) A small place of worship, inferior in rank to
the parish church, but authorised for the performance of Mass
and Office on certain days of the year, and, in some cases, for
baptism. Its use was to accommodate people who lived far
from the mother church. It was served by a chaplain or
curate, and its district was termed a chapelry.
Chaplain (Latin capellanus.) The priest in charge of a chapel.
In the Middle Ages the word was also used to denote what is
now termed a curate, i.e., a clerk in holy orders who acts as
an assistant to the parish priest.
Chapter. The Dean, Archdeacon and Canons of a Cathedral church;
the Abbot, Prior and choir-monks of an Abbey, or the
principal members of any house of religion.
Charged (heraldry.) A surface is said to be "charged with" any
object that is depicted upon it.
Charter (Latin charta, paper.) A deed in writing and under seal;
thence, a grant of hereditaments so made. A municipal
C. is a grant to the burgesses, by the Sovereign or Lord,
of liberties and privileges to be thence forth inherent in their
Chasuble, "chesyble" (Latin casula.) The Mass-vestment. A nearly
circular garment, with a hole in the centre, which is put on
over the head of the celebrant priest. In old English speech
it was called a "vestment," shewing the importance which was
attached to it. (fn. 2)
Chattel. Such an article of property as is not in the nature of
Cheapman. A chapman, a pedlar.
Checquy (heraldry.) A surface divided into small squares of alternate metal and colour.
Chense, chensary, cense. (Latin census, a reckoning, an assessment.)
A feudal impost in the nature of a poll-tax.
Chevalier, chivaler (French.) A horseman, hence a knight. From
Low Latin caballus, Welsh ceffyl, a horse. Prince James
Stuart, and his son Prince Charles, were termed the Old and
the Young Chevalier respectively, by Jacobites and Hanoverians alike, in their mutual intercourse, so as to avoid both the
terms "Pretender" and "King," offensive to one side or the
Chevron (heraldry.) An angular object, in shape like the gable of a
house, extending from one side of the shield to the other, with
its apex upward in the centre. When more than one chevron
appears in the same shield, each is of less width and is called a
Chief, in. Lands holden " in chief" are those which are held
directly of the King or other chief lord, not of any mesne
Chimmar, "chymmer" (I, 418.) A sleeveless garment worn by a
bishop between his gown and rochet.
Cinquefoil (heraldry.) A flower of five petals, conventionally
Cistercians. Monks of a reformed rule of the Order of Saint
Benedict, founded at Citeaux, in France, 1098. They wear a
white habit, and are much devoted to agriculture. The order
was very popular in Wales.
Clan (Irish clainne, children. Welsh cenedl.) An entire family. A
social group in Celtic countries, consisting, at least in theory,
of all the descendants of a remote common ancestor, and
living together under the rule of his representative, their
genealogical head, called the chief.
Clerk (Latin clericus.) A cleric or clergyman; a person in holy
orders. In the Middle Ages the word was rarely used to
denote a layman who could write.
Close (Latin clausura.) A piece of land enclosed by a hedge.
Clove (Latin clava, a club.) An obsolete measure, as of wafer-bread.
Cocket. A document under the seal of the Custom House, certifying
goods for exportation as having paid the duty.
Comitatus, of Glamorgan (Latin, a county.) The district under the
jurisdiction of the lord's Sheriff, and under the Courts held in
the Castle of Cardiff—as distinct from the more important of
the manors in the lordship of Glamorgan, which had their own
Commissioners. Persons appointed by the Sovereign to conduct
an enquiry by examining witnesses on oath, and to report to
Common. Land subject to rights on the part of neighbouring
tenants of the manor.
Common Council of a Corporation. The Mayor, Aldermen and
Capital Burgesses assembled for the transaction of the public
business of the Borough, assisted by their Town Clerk.
Common Pleas. One of the Superior Courts of Justice, abolished
by the Judicature Act, 1873.
Common Seal. That used in the official business of a body
corporate. The Common Seal of a municipal corporation is
affixed by the authority of the Mayor, and is kept in the
custody of the Town Clerk.
Commote (Welsh cwmwd.) A Welsh division of territory, intermediate between a manor and a Hundred.
Comptroller (Latin Contrarotulator.) An official whose duty it was to
duplicate the Rolls in a public office. Hence, a person charged
with the oversight of the business of certain public departments.
Concealed lands. Lands and tenements which, before the Reformation and the suppression of religious foundations, were charged
with annual payments to some religious object; and which,
after the Reformation, were held without disclosing to the
Government the fact of their having been so charged.
Coney. An old name for a rabbit.
Confirmation. The ratification of a Charter by the authority which
Consort (Latin consors, one whose lot is cast with another.) The wife
or husband of a king or queen regnant.
Constable (Latin comes stabuli, "count of the stable".) A functionary representing the executive of the chief authority. The
principal military officer under the lord, in particular charge of
the castle. An official entrusted with the execution of warrants
and the preservation of the peace.
Cope (Latin cappa.) An ample vestment, open and fastened by a
clasp in front, with a hood at the back. It is used in many
rites of the Catholic Church; but, unlike the chasuble (q.v.),
the C. is not an exclusively sacerdotal vestment.
Copyhold. The tenure by which a person holds an unfree tenement
in a manor by copy of Court Roll, at the will of the lord and
according to the custom of the manor, in most cases, but at a
certain fixed rent.
Corf. A mysterious word occurring in the Charter of 1340. From
the context, it seems to mean something in the nature of a
trading company; and it is probably the Welsh word corff, or
corph, from Latin corpus.
Coroner. A person exercising certain ancient and important judicial
and ministerial functions. His chief duty is to hold inquests.
He is appointed by the Crown, which he directly represents,
holds office for life, and is virtute officii a magistrate and justice
of the peace. Under the Charter of 1608 each Bailiff of Cardiff
(now the Mayor) for the time being is a Coroner.
Corporal Oath. One sworn while laying the hand upon some sacred
object, such as the book of the Gospels.
Corporas cloth (I, 386) or corporal. A square piece of linen
placed on the centre of the altar slab at Mass.
Corporation (of Cardiff.) The governing body of the borough, as
constituted by Royal Charter.
Corrody, corody (Latin corrodium.) An allowance of food, clothing
or money, made by a religious house to a private person by
direction of the King, lord or founder.
Cottar, cottager (Latin cotarius.) A squatter occupying a cot or cabin
on the lord's waste, who was undisturbed in his holding so
long as the lord accepted his labour.
Council for the Marches of Wales. A Royal tribunal which sat
at Ludlow, in Shropshire, and had jurisdiction over the easternmost Welsh and the adjoining English counties.
Counterpart. A duplicate; especially the duplicate of an indenture
Country, To put one's self on one's. To appeal to Judge and Jury
to decide the question of one's innocence or guilt.
County (Latin comitatus.) Originally, the territory governed by a
Count, Earl, or Marcher Lord; afterwards, by a Shire Reeve
or Sheriff. As regards the present work, the word signifies,
during mediæval times, that portion of the lordship of
Glamorgan which was under the jurisdiction of the lord's
Sheriff, and immediately subject to the Courts held in the
Castle of Cardiff.
Courant (heraldry.) Running, of an animal.
Court Baron. A court pertaining to a manor; held therein
periodically before the Steward in the lord's name, and having
jurisdiction in matters which purely concern the manor.
Court Leet. A court of record pertaining to a manor; held therein
periodically before the Steward in the King's name, and having
jurisdiction in minor offences.
Court of Record. One qualified to act judicially on behalf of the
Sovereign, and whose proceedings are consequently entered
on parchments and enrolled. At Cardiff this term was
especially applied to the Town Court held on alternate
Thursdays, down to 1835.
Covery. A Welsh measure of land, less than an acre.
Crannock. An old Welsh measure of corn or malt.
Crescent (heraldry.) A half moon, with the horns upward.
Crest (heraldry.) The armorial device surmounting a helmet.
Crewel. A kind of embroidery, in two-threaded worsted and yarn.
Criwets, cruets. Phials for holding the wine and water which are to
be poured into the chalice by the celebrant at Mass.
Croft. A little meadow near a dwellinghouse.
Cronne, Croune. A corrupt spelling of the Welsh crwn, round. A
descriptive male personal nickname.
Cross Adored, feast of the. Probably the Exaltation of the Holy
Cross (14 September.) This feast was instituted in the year
335 at Jerusalem, and is kept by both East and West.
Cross crosslet (heraldry.) A cross having each limb in the form of
a smaller cross.
Cummin, cumin (Hebrew.) "An annual plant, whose seeds have a
bitterish warm taste, and are carminative." (Nuttall.) A
payment of it was often reserved as a nominal rent.
Cursal barn or mill. One which paid to the lord a proportion of the
grain brought to it.
Curtilage. The yard and kitchen-garden of a dwellinghouse.
Custodian (Latin custos) of Glamorgan. The person responsible to
the King for the administration of the revenues of the Lordship
during the lord's minority.
Customary-holder, customar. (Latin custumarius.) A tenant who
holds his land according to the custom of the manor; a
Cutter (Latin messor.) A reeve or bailiff; especially one in charge
of a common or turbary.
Cymmorth Glanmai (Welsh, "aid on the calends of May.")
Commorth. Plural cymhorthau. A customary rent paid by
the tenants of some Welsh manors to their lord, in substitution
for manual services formerly rendered to him on or about the
first day of May.
Cymry (Welsh, "Welshmen.") Latin Cambrici. The word is composed of cyn † bro, and means literally " the inhabitants of a
common region." Singular Cymro; feminine Cymraes. Cymraeg
signifies the Welsh or Cambrian language.
Damask. Textile material (properly rose-coloured silk) embroidered
with a raised design of flowers &c., of a kind originally made
Dead Store (Latin mortuum staurum.) A stock of inanimate articles,
particularly farming implements; as opposed to Live Store
(vivum staurum), live stock.
De inquirendo de dampnis. (Latin, "for inquiring concerning
losses.") The title of a Writ directing the Sheriff to assess the
damages in an action.
Deio, Daio. A familiar Welsh form of Dafydd or Dewi, David.
Demesne (Latin dominium.) Land in the lord's own occupation.
Demise (Latin dimittere.) To transfer land, especially by lease.
Demurrer. A certain kind of pleading, viz., a formal objection, to
the effect that the party is not bound to answer to the last
Dependencies of a lordship. Outlying lands in or over which the
lord has any interest or jurisdiction.
Deponent. A person making a deposition (q.v.)
Deposition. The sworn statement of a witness, taken down in
writing to serve in evidence at a trial.
Derogation. Diminution of, or any action detrimentally affecting,
a rightful power or privilege.
Dewhopper. An obsolete term for an agricultural labourer employed
to break the soil with what is now termed a Dutch hoe.
Dexter, the (heraldry.) The right-hand side of the shield as held by
Deynes. A rent, toll or tribute in the lordship of Boviarton, 1550.
Diapered (heraldry.) Lightly ornamented in a uniform design
covering the whole surface.
Diem clausit extremum (Latin, " He has closed his last day.")
The title of a Writ directing an enquiry as to the lands of a
person recently deceased.
Disherison. Disinheritance, deprivation of inherited right.
Disseision in le post, Writ of. One for the recovery of lands and
tenements from the last of a series of wrongful holders.
Dissolution, The. The confiscation of religious houses, and dispersion of their inmates, by King Henry VIII. Called also the
Distraint. The summary seizure of a chattel to enforce a due payment, satisfaction or performance.
Distress. Goods taken in distraint.
Dom. An abbreviation of the Latin Dominus, "Sir." In olden
times this was the title of a priest who was a Master of Arts
or a professed Benedictine monk.
Dominicans. Friars of the mendicant order founded by Saint
Dominic early in the 13th century. In England they were
known as Black Friars, from the black cloak worn over their
bleached flannel tunic. Their special work is preaching, whence
they are also called Preaching Friars.
Dower. A wife's share in the lands of her husband, under the old
Easements. Certain rights of user which a person may have over
the property of another—e.g., a right of way.
Endorsement. What is written on the back of a document.
Engrossment. The final writing-out of a legal document, from the
draft; in which the abbreviations and hasty calligraphy of the
latter are replaced by a full and careful version, to be executed
by the parties.
Equestrian figure. One of a knight on horseback, as occurring
(e.g.) on the seals of important personages in the Middle
Escheat. The reversion to the Crown or to the lord, of an estate of
inheritance, for want of an heir or by the felony of the tenant.
Escheator. An officer of the Crown or of the lord, charged with
securing for such authority the escheats (q.v.) which from time
to time may become due to it.
Escutcheon (heradly. French écusson, big shield.) A shield with
a coat-of-arms painted on it.
Esquire (French écuyer, shield-bearer.) A gentleman possessed of
one or more of certain qualifications, as laid down in the official
Table of Precedence.
Essay, assay, of bread, beer, wine &c. The exclusive right of
testing and allowing such common articles of food.
Estate (Latin status.) Aggregate real and personal property. Strictly,
the amount or nature of a person's interest in property.
Estray. An animal found straying, and unclaimed.
Estreat (Latin extractum.) An extract from the roll of fines due to
the King, in the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Office.
Evil cross, The (Latin, mala crux.) An old name for the gallows
Examine. In legal phraseology means to compare the copy of a
document with its original, in order to insure the correctness
of the former.
Exchequer (Latin scaccaria.) The office in which the revenues of a
kingdom or of a lordship were managed, and which, in process
of time, was evolved into a Court of Law.
Executor. A person appointed by a Testator to carry out the
provisions of his Will with regard to his personal estate.
Exemplification of a municipal Charter. An attestation, under the
Great Seal, of a prior grant or confirmation by the same
Ex officio (Latin.) "By virtue of the office."
Extend. To draw up a document called an Extent (q.v.)
Extent. A statement of the area, contents and value of an estate or
Extort, as of strength malice, &c. in a criminal charge. Wrongful.
Fair. A great market held in a particular place at a fixed date in
every year, and authorised either by prescription or Statute.
Farm. The deriving of profit by using the property of another, after
payment of rent to the owner.
Fealty (Latin fidelitas, faithfulness.) A tenant's sworn fidelity to
Fee (Latin feodum.) An estate of inheritance.
Fee farm rent. An immutable chief rent paid to the lord for all his
rights over the land and its tenants.
Fee simple. The amplest estate known to the law, amounting
practically to absolute ownership of a freehold estate of
Fee tail. A freehold estate of inheritance which must descend to the
owner's lawful progeny.
Felony. A crime whose punishment involved a forfeiture or the
criminal's estate to the Sovereign.
Felys, an English form of the Latin male name Felix, which means
Feoffment. The possession of land granted by livery of seisin.
Fess (heraldry.) A wide band horizontally crossing the middle of the
Feudal (from Latin feodum.) Appertaining to the system of landtenure, and the relationship between the lord and his tenant,
which prevailed during the Middle Ages.
Feudary. An officer of the Court of Wards.
Firebote. The necessary wood for fuel, found on an estate.
Flowery Easter (Latin Pascha Florida.)
Forestall. To buy provisions on their way to the market or fair, in
order to sell them in the town at a higher price. This was
formerly a criminal offence.
Forfeiture (Latin forisfactura.) A forfeit.
Franchise. A freedom, liberty or privilege, secured by grant or
Franciscans. Friars of the mendicant order founded by Saint
Francis of Assisi early in the 13th century. In England they
were known as Grey Friars. Their special work is the evangelization of the masses in the large towns. Their habit is a
gown and cowl of brown cloth, with a cord about the waist,
and sandals for the feet.
Freehold. A free tenure, i.e., in fee simple, fee tail, or for life.
Freeman of a borough. One who enjoys the franchises and privileges of citizenship.
Freshmead. Meadow land which is not overflowed by the highest
tides of the sea. The opposite of Saltmead (q.v.)
Fret. A heraldic charge in the form of a loose true-love knot,
lozenge-shaped, the four ends extending to the edges of the
Fretty (heraldry.) A surface crossed and re-crossed diagonally by a
trellis of narrow bands.
Friars Preachers. Vide Dominicans.
Frontal, front. A covering, usually of needlework but sometimes of
silver, for the front of an altar.
Fulling-mill. One for scouring and thickening cloth.
Fusil (Latin fusillum.) A spindle, a portion of the machinery of a
Fustian. Coarse cotton cloth, of a kind originally made at Fustat, a
suburb of Cairo.
Gainage (French gaignage.) Plough-tackle and instruments of husbandry. Farming, the profitable working of land.
Gaol Delivery. The trying and acquitting or sentencing of criminals
in the Crown Courts of Assize.
Gaol Files. The bundles of parchment and paper documents composing the records of the Crown Courts of Assize—in Wales,
of the Court of Great Sessions, criminal side.
Garter (heraldry.) An object, sufficiently described by its name,
which encircles the coat-of-arms of a Knight of the Order of
the Garter. It represents that which is fastened under the
knee of a person upon his admission to the Order, and worn
by him as part of his insignia.
Gentleman. In a wide sense, a man of good education and refined
manners. In the literal sense, a man rightfully bearing coatarmour and entitled to wear a sword.
Glebe. The land appertaining to a parsonage.
Gough, gogh, goz. Corrupt spellings of the Welsh descriptive
personal name Goch, meaning the Red, the Redhaired.
Gowt. A water-pipe under the ground. A sewer. A flood-gate,
through which the marsh-water runs from the reens into the
Grange. A farm belonging to an abbey or priory, from which the
monks drew their supplies of provisions.
Granger. A superior farm-servant, having charge of a grange or
Grayle. A Gradual; a church-book containing the words and music
of the variable portions of the Mass.
Great Seal. The Sovereign's principal seal, kept by his Chancellor,
for State documents of the highest importance. It bears on the
obverse an effigy of the King or Queen enthroned, and on the
reverse the Sovereign on horseback.
Great Sessions. The Assizes held in Wales from 1542 to 1830,
by Judges specially appointed for the Principality.
Guest. (See Gwestfa.)
Guesthouse. That portion of a monastery wherein visitors are
Guild, gild. A corporation of craftsmen or tradesmen in a town.
Guildhall. A building set apart for the use of the guilds of a
town, in the transaction of their public business; thence the
word is often applied to a Town Hall.
Gwestfa, gwest (Welsh), guest. A food-rent anciently paid by Welsh
clansmen to their chiefs.
Gwilym. The Welsh form of William.
Gwyn (Welsh.) White, fair-haired.
Gymen. ? Gimmal, a ring with two rounds.
Habeas Corpus (Latin "Thou shalt have the body.") A Writ commanding an officer to bring his prisoner before the Court.
Hale. To haul.
Ham, hame. Meadow land by the side of a river.
Hamlet. A group of homesteads, not amounting to a village.
Hamper or Hanaper, The (Latin hanaperium.) An office of the
Chancery; so called because its writs and returns were kept
in a hamper. One of its functions was the receipt of fees for
grants under the Great Seal. It was long ago superseded by
the Crown Office in Chancery.
Harneys, harness. Armour.
Hatch. A trellised wooden enclosure for keeping fish alive in the
Haybote, hedgebote. The necessary timber, found on an estate, for
the repair of the fences.
Hayward. The officer, in a mediæval village community, who had
custody of the enclosure (Anglo-Saxon hœeg, a hedge) wherein
the cattle were kept.
Heir. A person who inherits landed property in the ordinary course
Henge. An old name for a weir.
Herbage. The coarse grass of a forest, suitable for the pasture of
goats and asses.
Hereditament. Any property that can be inherited.
Heriot. A tribute paid to the lord of a manor on the death of a
tenant. Usually the best beast, or a sum of money representing its value.
Hermitage. The cell of a hermit, a man who spent his life there in
solitary meditation and prayer. The hermit sometimes had
charge of a bridge or a ford, and of the chapel commonly built
close to the same.
High Mass. Mass celebrated with full ritual, i.e., with several lights,
incense, chant &c., by priest, deacon, subdeacon and acolytes.
Hockday. The Tuesday following the second Sunday after Easter.
A day of feasting, supposed to commemorate the accession of
King Edward the Confessor and the ending of Danish rule, but
perhaps the survival of some pagan festival.
Homesoken. Entering a house violently and without licence, against
the King's peace. (Termes de la Ley.)
Honour. A seigniory of several lordships under a lord paramount.
Hooker. A reaper or harvestman.
Hospitallers. An order of knighthood, founded early in the 12th
century for the protection of pilgrims to the Holy Land. Its
headquarters were successively in Jerusalem, Cyprus, Rhodes
and Malta. Since their expulsion from the last-named island
by Buonaparte in 1798, the Knights are governed from Rome.
This is the most exclusive of military orders, and the only one
dating from the Crusades. Its members are termed "Knights
Hospitallers, of the Sovereign Military Order of Saint John of
Jerusalem, otherwise called Knights of Rhodes and Knights of
Malta." It had many establishments in Wales, down to the
Reformation. Suppressed throughout his dominions by King
Henry VIII., who seized its possession, it was partially
restored by Mary Tudor, and finally put down by Elizabeth.
Theae have, however, always been English Hospitallers, and
the Earl of Ashburnham is now President of the Order in
England and Wales.
Housebote. The necessary timber, found on an estate, for the repair
of the mansion.
Hue and Cry (Latin hutesium et clamor.) The pursuit of a felon,
with "horn-blowing and shouting," which all men were bound
by the common law to join in as far as the bounds of their
Hundred. A subdivision of a county, originally composed of a
hundred free homesteads. In some counties it is called a
cantred, from Welsh cantref, a hundred homesteads.
Illumination. The embellishment of manuscript (and, occasionally,
of print) by painting the initial letters and adding margins and
miniatures, in gold and colours.
Impeachment (French empêchement.) Interference, prevention.
Indenture. A deed written on one skin of parchment in duplicate,
the two writings being afterwards cut asunder in an irregularly
indented line, so that their mutual dependence can be ascertained by collating them.
Indictment. The formal accusation, presented by a Grand Jury, of
a person charged with a legal offence, written (formerly in
Latin) on a strip of parchment.
Induction to a traverse (I, 411.) The part of the pleadings which
leads up to the traverse (q.v.) by stating the reason for it.
Inferior duplex (Latin) I, 380. Lesser or lower double. A term
denoting the relative liturgical rank of a festival in the Church
Inground. A term applied in the lordship of Wentllwg to lands
which, though on the sea level, were good for agriculture—as
opposed to "warth" (q.v.) which was subject to floods.
Inquest (Latin inquisitio, an enquiry.) The enquiry held by a Coroner
and his jury, and certified by their oath and seals, as to the
cause of death, the right ownership of treasure-trove, &c.
Inquisition An inquiry by a Jury.
Inquisitiones Post mortem (Latin "Enquiries after death.")
Parchment documents containing returns made to the Crown,
on the death of a land-holder, as to the nature, extent and
value of the deceased's landed property, based upon a judicial
enquiry and certified by the oath of a local jury.
Inlargement (I, 339.) Discharge from liability or imprisonment.
Inspexiums (Latin "We have inspected.") A copy of the enrolment of a charter or letters-patent, under the Sovereign's
Interrogatories. Questions put to a witness by a judicial authority,
with regard to a particular matter under investigation, and
written down there and then, together with the Answers, by
the Examining Clerk. (The term Interrogatories in modern
legal procedure has a somewhat different meaning.)
Intestate. Having died without leaving a Will.
Iolitie (I, 350), jollity. Impudent boldness.
Issue (after pleadings.) The point of fact or of law remaining to be
decided by the Court.
Istan, Saint. The church-founder after whom Llanishen is named.
Jesuits. Members of the Society of Jesus, an order of Regular
Clerks founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in the year 1554.
Its success in opposing the progress of the Reformation soon
earned for it the unexampled fear and dislike of Protestants.
Jeyne, Jayne. A corrupt spelling of Ieuan, the Welsh form of
Jointure. The provision made by a husband for his widow.
Jury (Latin jurati.) A body of persons sworn to give a true verdict
in a judicial proceeding.
Kahithe. A foreign measure, as of salt.
Keel. A large liquid measure, as of ale. A vessel for liquid to cool in.
Kelthywastagh (1, 457.) A rent of 4s. paid in the lordship of
Wentllwg in 1547. Probably the word is the name (Gellywastad, the level grove) of the land held at that rent.
Kilderkin. A barrel of 18 gallons.
Kill. A kiln.
Kitchen rent (Latin redditus coquinæ.) A rent of capons paid to the
lord at Christmas, by freeholders.
Knight A man who has been solemnly admitted into the ranks of
an equestrian military order. (Teutonic knecht, one who
Knight's fee (Latin feodum militis.) An estate of freehold under the
King or lord, charged with maintaining and providing a knight
and his equipment to serve under the superior's banner in time
Kyntall, quintal. A South European measure, to wit, a hundredweight.
Lady Chapel. Our Lady's chapel. A portion of a cathedral or
large church, specially dedicated in honour of the B.V.M. It
is usually the easternmost portion, beyond the chancel.
Lady Mass. Mass of the B.V.M., so called because its variable parts
Lairwite, "lerwit." A fine for adultery or fornication. Query
whether also a tax on sojourners within the manor.
Lambrequins (heraldry.) A French term for the mantling depicted
around helmet and shield. It means "tatters," and the L.
represent the warrior's surcoat torn in battle.
Lamprey. A fish resembling the eel.
Lastage, Money payable for the privilege of carrying goods to and
from fairs and markets.
Latimer (Latin Latimarius.) A clerk whose duty it was to draw up
and translate documents in a foreign tongue, especially Latin.
Latten (Latyn, I, 382.) A fine brass used in the making of crosses
Lazarhous, Lazarus (Latin Domus Leprosum.) A leper hospital.
Legal fiction. A conventional idea, only indirectly based on facts,
respected for the sake of facilitating procedure.
Legens (I, 380), legends; from Latin legendum, something to be read.
Lives of saints, and portions of their writings, occurring in
the Breviary and recited in the daily Office of the Catholic
Lenten seed. Seed sown in the early spring-time.
Letters Close (Latin literæ clausæ.) "Missives addressed by the
Sovereign to particular persons for particular purposes, and
sealed with the royal signet or privy seal." (Pocket Law
Letters Patent (Latin literæ patentes, an open letter.) A grant by
the Crown, issued unfastened and with the Great Seal pendant,
for the inspection of all men.
Ley, lea. A field of swardland.
Leygat. The gate leading into a ley or lea (q.v.)
Liberties (feudal.) The matters wherein, by prescription or by
grant, the tenants of a lordship or the inhabitants of a borough
have freedom from the lord's control. The area within which
such freedom can be claimed.
Licentia concordandi (Latin "Licence of agreeing.") Leave given
to settle an action after it has come before the Court.
Liege. One bound by the duty of loyalty, as the King's subject or
as the lord's tenant.
Lily, the crowned (heraldry.) A lily of conventional design, surmounted by the Royal crown of England, symbolising the
sovereignty formerly claimed by this country over France. A
badge of our Kings and Queens down to George III.
Livery (Latin liberatio.) Something given and delivered to servants,
whether food or clothes.
Lloyd. A corrupt spelling of the Welsh word llwyd, grey. A male
personal descriptive name.
Lord. A feudal superior. One of whom land is held. The owner of
a manor or seigniory.
Low Mass. Mass celebrated with the minimum of pomp; i.e., with
only a pair of tapers, and without incense or chant, by one
priest and a clerk or server.
Lustith (I, 350.) Desireth.
"Mab Cernyw." A Welsh bardic name, meaning Son of Cornwall.
Mace (Latin massa.) A club or truncheon; an ancient weapon with a
heavy knob. Those which were carried as emblems of authority, were by progressive ornamentation transformed into
elaborate silver insignia.
Magis duplex (Latin) I, 380. Greater double. A term denoting
the relative liturgical rank of a festival in the Church calendar.
Mainour. A stolen article found in the hand of the thief.
Mainprise. (Latin manucaptio, taking by the hand.) An old term
Manor. An estate in fee granted by the Crown, before the passing
of the Statute Quia Emptores in 1290. This definition cannot,
however, be applied in all its strictness to manors in Wales
and the Marches, owing to special circumstances of their
history. Incidents to a manor are: Lord, free and copyhold
tenants, fines, court baron, steward, demesne, and common
Mansion (Latin mansio, an abiding-place.) A gentleman's dwellinghouse; especially the capital messuage or chief house of a
Manycles (I, 350) manacles. Handcuffs; but here, probably, some
instrument of torture, such as a thumbscrew, is meant.
Marches of Wales. The borderland between England and the
Welsh tribe-lands. This borderland was in the hands of
powerful lords, called Lords Marchers, the descendants of the
original conquerors, who held it by military force and exercised
a quasi-regal authority over it.
Mark. An obsolete English silver coin, of the value of thirteen
shillings and fourpence.
Marriage, as a feudal term, was the lord's right of giving his ward
in marriage to whom he pleased—in other words, of receiving
a money payment for liberty to wed her.
Masar. A bowl.
Mass (Latin missa.) The eucharistic liturgy, or rite of Holy Communion, of the Catholic Church.
Master of the Rolls. A Judge of the Supreme Court, next in
dignity to the Lord Chancellor, having the official custody of
the Royal records.
Mayor (Latin major, greater, senior.) An officer presiding over the
Council of a borough and exercising the chief magisterial
power within the liberties of the same. He was formerly the
principal military officer of the lord, and appointed by him;
but his office has long been purely civil and elective, representing more nearly that of the senior bailiff of earlier times.
Member. (Latin membrum, a limb.) A branch or organic part,
having a local function—as a manor may be of a superior
lordship, or as a creek is of a port.
Membrane. A skin of parchment.
Meslin. (Latin mixtilium.) A mixture of different sorts of grain.
Messuage. A dwelling-house, with the curtilage, yard or kitchengarden.
Meuric, Meurig, corruptly Meyrick, Mayrick, Maybrick, Merrick &c.
The Welsh form of the Latin Mauricius, Maurice or Morris.
Mill-leat (Teutonic leiten, to lead.) A watercourse from a mill.
Minister's Account. A financial statement, by an officer administering an estate for the King, of the expenses and profits
thereof during a definite period.
Minorite Friars, Friars Minors. Franciscans of the original
foundation. Saint Francis termed his followers Fratres
Minores, "the Lesser Brethren," out of humility.
Minority (Latin minoritas, from minor, less.) The condition of legal
incapacity by reason of want of age.
Misdemeanour. An offence which in gravity falls short of felony.
Mise. A poll-tax payable to the Lord of Glamorgan at his accession,
by ancient custom.
Misprision. The concealment of another's crime.
Missal (Latin missale.) A Mass-book; a book containing the words
of the Mass.
Mixon, mixen. A dungheap, a compost heap.
Moat. A wide and deep ditch, filled with water, surrounding a
castle, for its defence.
Molares (Latin.) Grinders, millstones.
Morowe Mass. Early Mass; the first Mass, said early in the
morning, for the convenience of the working classes.
Muniments. Documentary evidences of title to hereditaments.
Murage. A tax levied for keeping town walls in repair.
Muster. The periodical assembling of trained-bands for drill and
Narration. The statement of a Plaintiff's Case in the Court of
Obit. (Latin obitus, a going to meet.) A Mass said at specified
times for the soul of a deceased person—usually on the
anniversary of his death.
Oblation (Latin oblatio.) An offering; particularly a gift, in money
or kind, made at the shrine of a saint on his festival day.
Obvention. A customary offering to the prieset of a particular
Obverse. The side of a seal, coin or medal bearing the more
important device, usually the Sovereign's effigy.
Octave (Latin octava.) The eight days following a festival.
Operative part of a written instrument. The vital words, essential
to its effectiveness.
Paddle-staff. A long spiked staff used by mole-catchers &c.
Paly (in heraldry.) Partitioned vertically into several strips of
Panel. A list of twelve Jurymen sworn to try an action.
Pannage. Acorns, beech-nuts and other mast in the forest, eaten
by the swine of the manor.
Parcel (Latin parcella.) A part, of lands.
Parcel gilt, "p'cell geilte." Partly gilt. Gilded metal.
Parchment. Sheepskin, or split vellum, prepared for the engrossment of legal or other formal writings.
Park. Wooded fields in the demesne of a manor, enclosed for the
preservation of the lord's deer.
Parker (Latin parcarius.) An official of secondary rank, charged
with the custody of the hay-fields.
Particulars for a grant. A document, prepared by the intended
grantee, setting forth in detail the various items of the subjectmatter of the grant. In the case of a grant of hereditaments,
this is done in order to show the full monetary value of the
Passing of Aust, The. The passage across the Severn, from Aust
Ferry to Beachley, both in Gloucestershire. Now called the
Paten, "patent" (Latin patena.) A small, shallow plate, of precious
metal, on which the Host is placed during the celebration of
Mass. (After the Reformation the P. was replaced by a much
larger and deeper plate.)
Patria Walensium (Latin. "The tribe-land of the Welsh.")
Lands which were the hereditary tribal possessions of the
various native clans, and the tenure whereof was vested in the
chiefs of those clans, as heads of the patriarchal families.
Patronage, of a church-living. The right of advowson and presentation, i.e., of nominating to a vacant living.
Pavage, paviage. A rate payable for the maintenance of street
Pax, pax-board. A small panel of precious metal, bearing a crucifix
or Agnus Dei, and having a handle at the back. It is carried
round during the giving of the kiss of peace at High Mass (just
before the priest's communion) to be kissed by the male
members of the congregation nearest the altar.
Payn. An English form of the Latin male name Paganus, which
means a person born in the country.
Peace, the King's. "That peace and security, both for life and
goods, which the King affords to all under his protection."
(Bailey's Dict., 1728.)
Pedoren (Welsh pedwaran.) A Welsh measure; a quartern.
Pencragh, a corrupt spelling of Pen-crach, a Welsh nickname
Penfold, pinfold, poundfold, "ponfald." A place in which cattle are
Pensidan (Welsh.) A personal nickname, meaning "Silky-head."
Perquisites of Court (perquisita Curiæ.) The money arising from
the fees of suitors and the fines of persons amerced.
Picage. Money paid for the privilege of breaking ground to erect a
stall in a fair or market.
Piepowder, Court of (Curia Pedis Pulverizati.) A court of record
incident to fairs and markets and having jurisdiction in
contracts and offences in connection with the same. (French
pied poudre, dusty foot.)
Pilcorn. Corn of an inferior sort, grown on a small patch of ground.
Pill. A word current in the Marches of South Wales to denote an
inlet of the Severn or of one of its tributaries.
Pinnace. A long boat, with sails and oars. A boat with two foreand-aft sails.
Pipe, The. The Pipe Office, a department of the Court of Exchequer,
which dealt with debts due to the King.
Plea (Latin placitum.) A case in a court of law. The formal answer
of a defendant to the plaintiff's declaration in an action.
Ploughbote. Necessary timber, found on an estate, for the repair
of the ploughs and other farming implements.
Poll-tax. One levied on each individual.
Pontage. A rate payable for the use and towards the maintenance
of a bridge.
Portingal, Portingale. A Portuguese.
Portion. Part of an estate given or left by a father to his child,
particularly to his daughter on her marriage.
Portman (as in Portmanmoor.) A gate-keeper.
Portreeve, portreve, portrieve. An old name, still retained in some
ancient boroughs, for the mayor or other chief magistrate.
Pound. An enclosure wherein cattle &c. taken damage feasant, or as
distress, are placed until redeemed by payment to the Lord of
Prebendary. A clergyman deriving a stipend from a cathedral.
Precentor. The clergyman who leads the choral service in a cathedral.
Prerogative. A peculiar privilege attached to a certain dignity
Presbytery. i. A priest's house. ii. That part of a cathedral,
between nave and chancel, reserved for canons, choristers and
other clerics assisting but not officiating at a service.
Prescription. A right allowed by virtue of long and uncontested
Presenter. A person making a presentment (q.v.)
Presentment. A report to the Sovereign, made upon oath, from
their own knowledge, by persons officially charged with the
making of the same.
President (of a Chapter.) The Dean. At an early stage of the
Reformation, but not for long, the Bishop of a Diocese was
Prevost, (fn. 3) provost (Latin prepositus, set over.) A bailiff or reeve. A
sheriff. A mayor.
Primate. The chief archbishop of a country.
Prior, prioress. The superior of a monastic house of secondary
rank, termed a priory. In an abbey, the next in authority to
Prise of ale (Latin prisa cerevisæ.) The levying of duty on the
brewing or importation of ale or beer.
Privy Council. Persons nominated by the King, without patent or
grant, to assist him in affairs of state.
Privy Seal, The (Latin privatum sigillum.) One set to grants by
the Sovereign, as an authority to the Chancellor to affix the
Processional. A church-book containing the words and music of
the chants sung in procession.
Proctor (Latin procurator, one who procures, or takes care.) A
Solicitor of the Ecclesiastical Courts.
Procure. A fee paid by a parish priest to the Bishop or Archdeacon
at his annual visitation.
Proofs ("proves," I, 356.) The evidence which a witness will give,
taken down in writing for the use of the examining counsel or
Pynnom, pynam, pinnom &c. A corruption of "pine-end," meaning
one of the narrow sides of a house.
Pyx. i. A vessel of precious metal in which the consecrated Host is
reserved on or over the altar of a church. ii. A mint or
Quarter Sessions. At Cardiff these were originally the lord's Court
Leet for the manor of Roath Dogfield; but they assumed the
regular form of Borough Quarter Sessions under the Charter of
1608, and still more under modern Acts of Parliament.
Quarter Sessions of the County are also held in the town.
Quarter victualler. One who supplies provisions e.g. to the crew
of a vessel.
Quarterly (heraldry.) A surface divided into four sections of equal
Quayage. A toll payable for the use of a quay or wharf.
Quit. Freed, acquitted or exempt from legal liability or demand.
Quit-rent (Latin quietus redditus.) A nominal annual payment to the
lord, by the owner of a free tenement, in acknowledgment of
his seigniory over the same; originally paid in lieu of manorial
Quittance. Freedom from feudal dues and services.
Quoil. Tumult, disturbance.
Quo Warranto (Latin, "by what warrant.") A writ on behalf of the
Crown against a person whose claim to any franchise is called
Rampant (of a lion, in heraldry.) Standing erect on its hind legs,
with the forepaws in a menacing attitude.
Ray, of cloth or silk. Uncoloured and undyed.
Reaper (Latin messor.) In the Records this term implies a reapreeve (q.v.)
Reapreeve. A farm bailiff; particularly one charged with the oversight of the reapers.
Receiver of Glamorgan. A person appointed by the King to take
and hand over the revenues of the Lordship during the lord's
Recital. The rehearsal, in a written instrument, of the circumstances
leading to the making of it.
Recognizance (Latin recognitio, an acknowledgment.) Of a debt
enrolled in a Court of law; with a condition to be void on the
performance of a certain obligation, the debt being due to the
King in default.
Record (Latin recordare, to remember, bear in mind.) A memorial.
An authentic testimony of the acts of a Court or other
authority. In the strict legal sense, one entered on parchment
and enrolled, and consequently not requiring to be proved.
Recorder. " A barrister of five years' standing, appointed by the
Crown under the Municipal Corporations Act 1882. He is
sole judge of Quarter Sessions, and may appoint a ' deputy'
and an 'assistant' recorder. (2.) A person appointed by
various corporations . . . . . by prescriptive right, to
assist the Mayor and other magistrates in legal matters."
(Pocket Law Lexicon.)
Rectory. A right to the whole ecclesiastical revenue of a parish or
living, including all the tithes.
Reen, rine. A channel or ditch cut in marshy land, for water to run
Refection. A meal, particularly of a religious community.
Regulus. (Latin, a ruler.) A petty king, prince, chieftain.
Relict (Latin relicta, left.) A widow. The word is only used in
conjunction with the late husband's name.
Relief (Latin relevare, to take up again.) A payment made to the
lord of a manor on becoming his tenant by taking up an estate
under him in the manor, in succession to a tenant who has died
Remembrancer. One of three superior clerks of the Exchequer,
viz., the King's R., the Lord Treasurer's R., and the R. of the
Rent resolute (Latin redditus resolutus.) Rent repaid, or allowed
Rents of Assize. Chief rents, fixed annual payments (usually of
small amount in modern reckoning) from the freeholders to the
lord of a manor.
Reprise. Repair; the recurrent cost of periodical repairs.
Resiant. (Norman French). Resident.
Residentiary Canons. Those residing in the cathedral city and in
regular attendance at its services.
Resolute (of rent.) Repaid.
Respite. To allow the payment of a debt to be deferred.
Reverse. The side of a seal, coin or medal bearing the less important device.
Reversion. The interest which remains, in a person who has granted
property for a limited period, to have it again on the termination of that period.
Rind, millrind. The iron clamp in the centre of a millstone.
Rod, the. That by delivery of which a person is formally admitted
to possession of a copyhold tenement by the steward of the
Roll of Court. The records of a manor, containing the entries of
the admission and surrenders of tenants, fines, heriots, rents,
Rolls. Records entered on long skins of parchment, (often several
such skins sewn together, end to end) which are rolled up and
tied round with strips of the same material.
Rose, the Tudor (heraldry.) A crowned rose of conventional design,
half red, half white, symbolising the union of the houses of
Lancaster and York. A badge of the Sovereign since the time
of King Henry VII.
Rosser, the English spelling of Rosier (pron. Rosher), the Welsh
form of Roger.
Rother (as in Rothers-moor.) Horned cattle.
Royal Prerogative. "The exceptional powers and privileges of
the Crown." (P.L.L.)
Royal Supremacy. The Anglican doctrine of the Sovereign's
headship over the Church of England, in spirituals as in
temporals, to the exclusion of the Pope's jurisdiction in the
Royalty. Money payable to the lord by a tenant, out of the value of
minerals dug in the manor.
Sack (French sec, Latin siccus, dry.) A dry wine from the Canary
Islands; also called Canary.
Sacring bell. A little bell kept on the altar steps, and rung at
Mass to apprise the congregation of the most solemn portions
of the service.
Saint Peter's Chains, feast of (Sancti Petri ad vincula.) The
festival held on August 1st to commemorate the miraculous
deliverance of the Prince of the Apostles from prison.
Sallee ("Sallie," I, 365.) A harbour of Morocco, whence issued forth
a vast number of pirates.
Saltmead. Low land over which the sea flows at very high tides.
Sanctuary. The ecclesiastical protection accorded to a fugitive in a
church or its precincts.
Sanctus bell, saunts bell. As used I, 378, this evidently means a
sacring bell (q.v.); but the term properly signifies a bell hung
in a turret over the chancel to give notice, to parishioners who
are not in the church, of the consecration and elevation of the
Sarcenet. A fine, thin, woven silk.
Satchelor (Latin saccularius; from sacculum, a little sack.) The
official having charge of the Petty Bag, in which all original
writs relating to the business of the Crown were formerly kept.
See Vol. I., p. 49, line 6, where the abbreviation "Sat." stands
for the title of this official. (fn. 4)
Sayer. A surname which is either the English Sawyer, or the Welsh
Saer, a carpenter or wright.
Sayse, Sayce, Seys, Seysse &c. A corrupt spelling of the Welsh
descriptive personal name Sais, meaning a Saxon, an
Englishman, an English-speaker. It was commonly given to
a Welshman whose knowledge of the English tongue
distinguished him from his fellows.
Schedule (Latin schedula, a small leaf of paper.) A written list,
catalogue or inventory, especially of documents of title.
Scot and lot. Certain rates levied upon the inhabitants of a
hundred, borough or parish, according to their ability, to be
quit of customs and customary payments such as common
Searcher. A superior officer of the Customs.
Secretary hand, or Stuart Secretary. A running script used in
rapid writing, temp. Eliz. and Jac. I. It was the first form of
English handwriting in which a whole word was written
without raising the pen from the paper. It is peculiarly
difficult for the modern reader.
Seigniory (French seigneurie, Latin senioria.) A lord's interest in his
Seisin. Feudal possession of land.
Sejant (heraldry.) Sitting.
Senior Alderman. The alderman who has longest held that office.
At Cardiff he is ex officio a Justice of the Peace, under the
Charters of 1608 and 1687.
Sennight (seven-night.) A week. Half a fortnight or "fourteennight."
Sergeant's-hold. A tenure by which the tenant was bound to
render acts of personal service to the lord.
Serjeant-at-mace. An officer of the executive of a borough,
especially attached to the person of the Mayor and charged with the execution of his personal orders. On state occasions
he carries the mace which symbolizes the mayoral authority.
The office is commonly held by two men at the same time.
Serjeantry. A tenure by personal service of an honourable nature.
Service. 1. An active duty performed for a feudal superior in
consideration of protection given to the servitor. 2. The
public performance of religious worship by the clergy,
particularly the regular celebration of Mass and recital of
Office by a chantry-priest.
Sessor (I, 323.) ? A person assessed for payment of the borough
Sheriff (shire-reeve.) The governor of a county, immediately
responsible to the King.
Shingle-nail. Wooden nails or pegs for fastening shingles together,
when making or mending a roof. (See Shingles.)
Shingles. Flat, water-worn stones from a river-bed, used for
Shire fee. That part of the County of Glamorgan which was under
the jurisdiction of the Lord's Sheriff, and the inhabitants
whereof were liable to payment of the cense.
Shrine. A receptacle, of architectural design, for important relics of
a saint, particularly his body, or a portion of it. A S. is a
structural feature of a church.
Signet. The Royal sign manual and seal affixed to an official
Sinister, the (heraldry.) The left-hand side of the shield as held by
Skin of parchment or vellum. A single sheet of such material, made
from the hide of a sheep or a calf.
Smoke-silver. A hearth-tax, the chense (q.v.)
Socage. Tenure by a determinate service.
Sole. Single, of a maid or widow. (Law term.)
Spar. A long piece of timber.
Spital. An abbreviation of Hospital. Welsh, Ysbytty.
Stake, stakes. An old name for a weir.
Stallage. Payment for the privilege of erecting a stall in a market.
Standers (I, 380.) Standards. Large metal candlesticks to stand on
the steps of the chancel, before the high altar.
Star Chamber. An obsolete Court of summary justice, immediately
under the Sovereign and exempt from many of the ordinary
rules of legal procedure.
State Paper Office. An obsolescent term for the Public Record
Office in London.
State Papers Domestic. Letters and miscellaneous documents
formerly supplied to the Government for its secret information,
and now preserved at the Record Office.
Steelyard "Styllard(I, 356.) A lever balance for ascertaining
Sterling (Anglo-Saxon esterling, "coming from the East.") An
adjective denoting a genuine and superior quality in the gold
and silver of a coinage.
Steward. "The lord's deputy, who transacts the legal and other
business of the manor, keeps the court-rolls &c." (P.L.L.)
The Steward of a Corporation is no longer an officer of the
lord, but of the Sovereign. He is a barrister, and now bears
the title of Recorder (q.v.)
Straiks. The tires of wheels.
Streamer, "stremer." A pennon, or narrow pointed flag, to stream
in the wind.
Strike. A measure, as of grain or salt, containing four bushels.
Suit, "siwte." This word in the Middle Ages meant a set of
vestments for priest, deacon and subdeacon, i.e., chasuble,
dalmatic and tunicle, of uniform colour and texture.
Suit of Court (Latin secta curiæ.) An incident of feudal tenure,
consisting of the duty of the tenant to attend the lord's Court
Baron of the manor.
Suit of Mill (Latin secta molendinae.) The duty of a feudal tenant
to take his corn to be ground in the lord's mill and pay the
cost of grinding.
Sumpter (Latin summarius.) A pack-horse.
Supporters (heraldry.) A pair of figures of men or animals,
upholding a shield, one on each side of it.
Suppression, The. The confiscation of religious houses, and dispersion of their inmates, by King Henry VIII. Called also
Taffeta. A specially prepared kind of silk, smooth and lustrous.
Tallage. A tax or subsidy.
Teilo, Saint (anciently Eliud.) A Welshman of royal race, who was
the second bishop of Llandaff with a fixed see in that city.
His festival is 9 February.
Templars. A mediæval order of knighthood, which was formed for
the recovery and protection of the holy places in Jerusalem.
It was suppressed by the Pope, and its possessions transferred
to the Hospitallers.
Tenement. Anything (of a permanent nature) that can in the legal
sense be holden. A house.
Terrage. Money paid for freedom from compulsory labour on the
lord's demesne land.
Testator. A person who makes a Will.
Texting. The old-style, formal handwriting of the commencement
and catch-words of a legal document; written with a broadpointed quill pen, cut obliquely.
Tinsel, "tynsill." Cloth of gold. Church vestments of this rich
material are used on certain great festivals.
Tissue. Cloth interwoven with threads of gold, silver or various
Tithe. A tenth. The proportionate contribution, in money or kind,
paid by the parishioners to their rector, for the support of
Church and poor.
Tithe-barn. The barn in which the parishioners delivered their
tithe in kind.
Title. 1. The official style of a dignity. 2. The evidences of a right
Toft. The site of a decayed or demolished dwellinghouse.
Toll. A small fixed payment to the lord by every person using a
public easement furnished by him.
Toll-dish. A large vessel for holding the toll of grain paid in kind
at the market or the lord's mill.
Toll of the pyx. A rent in the lordship of Boviarton, 1550.
Tourn, The Sheriff's. His Court.
Town Clerk. The chief official under a municipal corporation,
having the principal charge of the clerical and legal, and a
general control of the entire formal and public business of the
Town Hall. A building set apart for the use of the dignitaries and
officials of a municipality in the transaction of the public
Train (I, p. 330, line 15.) To draw. French trainer.
Transubstantiation (Latin, a change of substance.) The Catholic
doctrine of the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the
Traverse (in pleadings.) The denial of an alleged fact.
Trayn (I, 356.) Train oil.
Treasure trove (French trésor trouvé.) Hidden valuables found,
whose owner is unknown, and which belong chiefly to the
Crown or the lord of the soil.
Trespass. Any legal offence less than felony or misprision of
felony. The term, however, is not usually applied to a misdemeanour, but is commonly used to denote a tort which
furnishes matter for a civil action.
Trespass on the case. A private wrong the redress whereof
required a specially-worded writ.
Tribe-land of the Welsh. (See Patria Walensium.)
Tronage. A toll payable for the weighing of wool.
Trow. A big flat-bottomed rowing-boat, for carrying goods on
Tucker (German tuch, cloth.) A cloth-worker.
Tunicle, "tunakill" (I, 386.) The vestment of a deacon or subdeacon; properly only of the latter.
Upland. The country outside the walls of the burghs, but within
Use. Beneficial interest in property, enjoyed by a person who is not
the actual owner in point of law.
Vaughan. A corrupt spelling of the Welsh word vychan, fychan,
a mutation of bychan, meaning the Little, the Junior, the Cadet.
Vawer. A corrupt spelling of vawr, fawr, a mutation of mawr
(Welsh), meaning the Big, the Tall. A descriptive personal
Velin, felin (Welsh.) A mutation of melin, a mill.
Vellum. Calfskin prepared for the engrossment of legal or other
Velyn, felyn, a mutation of melyn (Welsh) meaning yellow, or "the
yellow-haired"; a descriptive personal name.
Venire facias. (Latin, "cause [them] to come.") The title of a writ
commanding the Sheriff to form a Jury.
Verbatim et litteratim (Latin.) Verbally and literally; word for
word, and letter for letter. A phrase applied to an exact
Verch, vergh, ferch, vz. (Welsh.) "Daughter of."
Vicarage. The substituted incumbency of an impropriated
ecclesiastical benefice, the vicar of which serves the cure but
is entitled only to the smaller tithes.
Vicar Choral. A clergyman attached to a cathedral or collegiate
church, whose duty it is to officiate at the daily choral
Vice-Admiral. A civilian officer having certain jurisdiction over a
portion of the coast. The office is now obsolete.
Vicinage. The nearest area from which a jury may be drawn, to
give a verdict in a particular cause at law.
View of Frankpledge. The jurisdiction of the manorial Court
Leet, in matters civil and criminal.
Vill (Latin villa.) A group of dwellinghouses. A town.
Villein (Latin villanus, a man attached to a township.) A bondsman,
holding a tenement in a manor by uncertain and menial
service, at the will of the lord.
Villenage. The estate or tenure of a villein (q.v.)
Visitation. A visit of inspection officially paid to a church by the
Bishop or Archdeacon, for the purpose of ascertaining the
state of the fabric, the furniture, the accounts, registers &c.,
and the conduct of the public services.
Voya. Welsh vwya, fwyaf, the Biggest, the Tallest. A personal
Wafer-bread. Wafers or hosts of pure flour and water, stamped
with some sacred symbol and destined for consecration in the
Waif. Goods found and unclaimed; or stolen, and abandoned by
the thief in his flight.
Ward. A male or an unmarried female under age, who is heir to
landed estate, and whose person and property are for the time
being in the custody of a guardian.
Ward-silver, ward-penny. A tax levied by the Sheriff for
maintaining watch and ward.
Warrant of Attorney. A written instrument authorizing an
attorney to appear in Court on behalf of the signatory, and to
suffer judgment to pass by default.
Warren. Land on which small game and rabbits are preserved.
Warth, corruptly wharf. A word locally used to denote the
flat lands along the Severn shore, between Cardiff and
Watch and Ward. The feudal service of joining the body of
constables for maintaining the peace by night and day respectively.
Welthian. A corrupt form of the Welsh female name Gwenllian,
which means White-linen.
Wet fish, "wete fisshe" (I, 353.) Fresh fish.
Whin. A health plant of the genus ulex, bearing an edible fruit.
(Welsh chwyn, weeds.)
Wood-gavel. A toll or rent paid by bondmen or villeins to the
lord, for liberty to cut or gather wood in the forest.
Woolfell. A sheepskin with the wool still adhering to it.
Work (Latin opus.) In the Ministers' Accounts a work means an act
of forced labour on the lord's land, by a villein tenant.
Writ of Right. One of the two forms of a Writ of Dower.
Xofer. An abbreviation for Christopher, the X (a cross) standing for
Yate, Yat A West Saxon form of "gate," an approach, an entrance,
an alley, a lane.
Ychan. A doubly mutated form of Welsh Bychan, "the younger."
Yeoman. The class between a gentleman and a husbandman; one
who farms his own land.
York silver. A periodical payment in the lordship of Boviarton,