Institute of Historical Research



William Farrer (editor)

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'Introduction', Final Concords for Lancashire, Part 3: 1377-1509 (1905), pp. V-VI. URL: Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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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 record keepers.

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 the Index.


Hall Garth,

Near Carnforth, 7th July 1905.


1 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.
2 30th Report of the Deputy-Keeper of the Public Records, i–viii.
3 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.