Originalia Roll Jottings

Users of the website will be aware that the Project Team decided to collate the surviving Originalia Rolls (copies of the Fine Rolls sent to the Exchequer) to the Fine Rolls. This usually includes noting marginal annotations and any significant differences to entries between the two sets of rolls. However, sometimes more puzzling things pop up. Take this, for instance:

What could ‘P. m. R. d. m.’ mean?

The answer, we suspect, is ‘p[ost] m[ortem] R[icardi] d[e] M[iddleton]’. The scribe who created the originalia roll has left a gap sufficient to copy the entry contained in the Fine Roll describing death of Richard de Middleton, the chancellor. This entry reads:

‘On Sunday next before St. Laurence Richard de Middleton, sometime king’s chancellor, died and the king’s seal was delivered into the king’s Wardrobe under the seal of J. de Kirkby, to whom the same king had committed the custody of that seal at the king’s goodwill and — the same John saw writs to be sealed and folded them, as is custom, and in this he associated to himself Sir P. de Winton, then keeper of the king’s aforesaid Wardrobe.’

What was the scribe thinking when he left this gap? Perhaps he was undecided whether to record this information or not. To a Chancery clerk, the death of the chancellor was a momentous event, but, then again, this wasn’t an entry concerning money and therefore didn’t need to be communicated to the Exchequer. In the end, as a compromise, he may have just gone back and made the note ‘P. m. R. d. m.’. In any case, it certainly acts as a useful marker in the Originalia roll between those fines made under the aegis of Richard de Middleton, and those made under his successor.

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One Response to “Originalia Roll Jottings”

  1. Beth Hartland says:

    As an addendum, I should note that the Chancery clerk drawing up the originalia roll which coincided with the start of Richard de Middleton’s term of office as chancellor also noted this on the roll. Membrane 7 of TNA: E 371/33 bears the heading ‘De tempore Ricardi de Middleton”. The beginning of his term of office was, in contrast to his death, not recorded on the fine roll (TNA C 60/66), from which this originalia roll was compiled.

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