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During this period the references to the history of the kingdom at large are numerous and interesting; the pictures of the domestic life, and economy, and religious feelings of all ranks and professions of men,-of many whose names will be perfectly familiar to those who are acquainted with the History of England, down to the humblest artisan-are numerous and faithfully drawn, and not a few additions are made to our knowledge of the language, and customs, and manners of our ancestors.
At the period at which the volume closes, the great strife between the houses of York and Lancaster was beginning to develope itself and agitate the nation, and in the fearful contest which ensued, during the whole of its continuance, no district in the whole of England was more deeply involved than the province of York. How singularly valuable in an historical point of view, to consider them in no other light, must be the Wills proved and registered at York after the battles of Wakefield in 1460, of Towton, in 1461, and of Hexham, in 1464, in each of which a very considerable number of the leading men of the north of England lost their lives, to say nothing of those of the men of the province who fell in other parts of the kingdom during that bloody and protracted struggle, which only terminated upon the accession of Henry VII., in 1485. The attention of the Society may, probably at no distant period, be called to a further continuation of these authentic sources of the most valuable information, the Wills and Inventories of our ancestors.
be necessary to state, that during the period. over which this volume extends, no Inventories are
registered at York except such as were proved as Testámentary Records,-such, we mean, as were attached to the Will, and were pronounced to be part and parcel of it by the Testator. This circumstance is greatly to be regretted. That such accounts were given into Court by the Executors, in conformity with the laws of probate, is manifest. We may merely refer to the notice appended to the Will of Bishop Skirlaw, N°. ccxxv., and it would have constituted no unimportant appendage to that most valuable document to have found recorded not only the full amount of his personal estate, but a minute enumeration of the various particulars of which that amount consisted; and to have seen also the mode in which his executors exercised their discretion with reference to that very considerable part of the Bishop's personal property which was left to their disposal. In very many instances the information afforded by the Inventorial schedule would doubtless have been more valuable than that of the Will itself. In a statistical point of view, a series of Inventories with reference to the Wills in this volume, extending from 1316 to 1430, a period during which there is, under this head, a great want of accurate information, incidentally, and therefore the more trustworthily, affording the market price of every article of home produce, and the cost of valuables under whatever head imported from abroad, as they were occasionally mentioned, would literally have been invaluable. The charge against the Prioress of Erden, in the note, p. 284., that she wastefully gave 11d. for a bushel of wheat, when the fair average market price was only 8d., gives the price of corn in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1396.
This information is incidentally afforded in the answers to an enquiry in which the ascertaining of the price of corn was not one of the contemplated objects, and its accuracy is in consequence the more to be relied upon. The Inventories belonging to the Wills which are here made public, would have abounded with information of a more general nature, and of equal credibility.
A Glossary is in preparation, which will contain an account of such words in the Durham and York Wills, &c., as require explanation, and which will be so arranged as to be bound up with the last of the Series.
This volume was transcribed for the press by Mr. Lewis Baker, Alfred Terrace, Upper Holloway, of whose zeal and accuracy the Council expresses its great approbation. Mr. Baker's transcripts were found to require few corrections, fewer than might have been expected in the case of one unacquainted with the names of men and places in the Northern Counties.
The letters of the alphabet which have been adopted as references to the various Registers from which extracts have been made, are thus explained :—
A. A Book Sede Vacante, extending from the year 1285 to 1554, in the Prerogative Court.
B. A Book marked B. y. in the Registry of the Dean and Chapter.
C. Registrum Antiquum de Testamentis, Sede Vacante, marked K. Ibid.
D. The Register of Archbishop Zouche. Prerogative Court.
E. Acta Capitularia, in the Registry of the Dean and Chap
F. Registrum ab. an. 1389 ad an. 1396. Consistory Court. G. The Register of Archbishop Thorseby. Prerogative Court.
H. The Register of Archbishop Neville. Ibid.
I. The Register of Archbishop Arundell. Ibid.
K. Registrum ab. an. 1398 ad an. 1470. Consistory Court. L. The Register of Archbishop Waldby. Prerogative Court.
M. Registrum ab. an. 1396 ad an. 1440. Consistory Court. N. The Register of Archbishop Scrope. Prerogative Court.
O. The Register of Archbishop Bowet. Ibid.
** In the notes to No. CCLXXVIII., pp. 391-2, a mistake has been made respecting the date of appointment of Chief Justice Haukeford. It appears from the "Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council of England," a publication of extreme utility, highly creditable to the judgment of the present Record Commission, and Sir N. H. Nicolas, its Editor, that Haukeford, (he is there called Hankeford; but who shall decide between the u and the n?) was in reality in office in 1413. This certainly invalidates the statement of Stow, that Chief Justice Gascoigne presided in the Court of King's Bench for the three first years of Henry V., but it does not affect the other arguments brought forward under his Will to prove that he did not die in 1412, but in 1419.
1. TESTAMENTUM DOMINI EPISCOPI Dunelm.1
[A. f. 25-b.2]
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, Amen. Ego Ricardus Episcopus Dunelmensis, sanus mente licet infirmus corpore, in die Dominica proxime ante festum Sancti Michaelis Archangeli, Anno Domini Millesimo trescentesimo sextodecimo, A.D. 1316 condo testamentum in hunc modum. In primis, lego animam meam Deo et beatæ Mariæ et omnibus sanctis. Item lego corpus meum sepeliendum in Capitulo Dunelmensi, supra gradus. Item lego duos palefridos meos, videlicet nigrum palefridum et minorem grisur' palefridum meum ecclesiæ Dunelmensi ante sepulturam meam. Item lego pauperibus die sepulturæ meæ centum marcas. Item lego sexaginta libras ceræ ad sexaginta cereos faciendum circa funus meum. Item quia omnia bona mea de quibus fiet Inventarium adhuc mihi sunt incerta, item quia debita, quæ mihi debentur, adhuc non sunt certa seu determinanda, et etiam debita, quæ ego debeo variis creditoribus meis, non sunt plene adhuc calculata, ideo relinquo omnia bona mea residua ordinanda, distribuenda, solvenda, calculanrla, computanda, secundum arbitrium et discretionem executorum
1 Richard Kellawe, Bishop of Durham from 1311 to 1316, and "during seven years of unexampled distress, the vigilant and faithful guardian of his afflicted Province." Bishop Kellawe died within a fortnight after the date of his will, in the lesser chamber, in his Castle of Middleham, near Sedgefield, on the day of St. Paulinus the Bishop (Oct. 10th), at midnight. According to Graystanes, he died on the feast of St. Denis, Oct. 9th, a mistake easily made. The former date, which is doubtless the correct one, is obtained from the following entry in the Bishop's Register, in the Chancery at Durham, p. 265 :-' "Memorandum quod die Sancti Paulini Episcopi circa mediam noctem obiit Ricardus de Kellawe Episcopus Dunolmensis Anno Domini MCCC sexto decimo apud Middelham in minori camera." The Bishop's body was buried, according to his direction, in that part of the Chapter House, at Durham, which now forms part of the Dean's garden.-See Wills and Inventories (Durham Series) I. 21. Of this and the other references in this volume, see a general explanation in the Preface.