Number Crunching the Fine Rolls (1242-1248)

Recently I’ve been adding up the sums given to the king as fines in the Fine Rolls for 1242-1248 to provide some statistics to go in the front matter of Volume 4 of CFR, and also on the website. Here’s a preview:
Total £233 6s. 8d.
Largest fine £133 6s. 8d.
Average fine £116 13s. 4d.
Total £678 6s. 8d. and 2 palfreys
Largest fine £667 6s. 8d.
Average fine £56 10s. 7d.
Total £587
Largest fine £100
Average fine £5 1s. 3d.
Total £3925 3s. 8d. and 6 palfreys
Largest fine £667 6s. 8d.
Average fine £16 19s. 10d.
Total £9145 13s. 4d. and 7 palfreys and 2 tuns of wine
Largest fine £667 6s. 8d.
Average fine £43 11s.
Total £12058 13s. 4d. and 6 palfreys and 1 palfrey worth 100s.
Largest fine £3,000
Average fine £59 2s. 3d.
Total £4715 3s. and 6 palfreys and 100 live rabbits
Largest fine £1333 6s. 8d.
Average fine £16 4s.
Total £3009 16s. 8d.
Largest fine £400
Average fine £10 14s. 4d.
Of course, like most statistics, these figures obscure as much as they show. For example, from this data it is hardly obvious that most fines were for considerably less than the average sums given here. Take roll C60/41. Of the 231 entries added together to arrive at the figure of £3925 3s. 8d. and 6 palfreys, 124 (or 54%) were fines for writs with an average value of 15s. 3d., and another 46 entries (20%) were fines for assizes of novel disseisin to be taken, with an average value of £1 1s. 9d. Far less than the overall average of £16 19s. 10d. If other stats on these particular rolls would be of use to readers of the blog, let me know.

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2 Responses to “Number Crunching the Fine Rolls (1242-1248)”

  1. Noel says:

    I arrived whilst researching the history of Ludlow… but now I’m intrigued as to what crimes the fines were for!

  2. Louise Wilkinson says:

    The fines recorded on the rolls were actually sums of money and other items (e.g. palfreys) that were offered to the crown in order to secure concessions and favours. This definition of ‘fine’ is rather different from its usual modern usage.

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