Discussion:
How common were "feet of fines" property transactions?
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lipkatatar
2020-02-24 11:34:04 UTC
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For the County of Cornwall from the reigns of Richard I to Henry VII there appear to be only around 1000 surviving "feet of fines" records. This works out at an average of just over 3 such transactions per year. This surprises me as I assume the purpose was to have a permanent public record of such transactions. Is there any indication as to what percentage of property transactions actually involved "feet of fines" cases? Are there any indices of property transactions not involving "feet of fines" court cases.
Vance Mead
2020-02-24 16:57:27 UTC
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Common Recovery was used for property transactions starting in the mid-15th century. I don't think it was ever as usual as the fine.
Vance Mead
2020-02-24 17:23:31 UTC
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I did a count of the two actions recorded in Common Pleas. They increased dramatically in the second half of the 16th century. Probably because of more land changing hands after the Dissolution of the monasteries.

concord recovery
1430 62
1440 67
1500 31 49
1530 39 49
1554 138 25
1563 355 118
1571 736 156
Vance Mead
2020-02-24 17:25:36 UTC
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I should add that these are for one term in each year mentioned. So there would be something like 4 times this many in a year.
c***@dickinson.uk.net
2020-02-27 13:04:11 UTC
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Post by Vance Mead
I did a count of the two actions recorded in Common Pleas. They increased dramatically in the second half of the 16th century. Probably because of more land changing hands after the Dissolution of the monasteries.
concord recovery
1430 62
1440 67
1500 31 49
1530 39 49
1554 138 25
1563 355 118
1571 736 156
Coincidentally, I've just this morning adjusted my notes about two feet of fines in 1571 in Cumberland.

These are:


13th ELIZ., TRIN.  [=1571]

George Porter, gen

William Woodhall, als Unedale, gen

Tents in Deane and Cockermouth

13th & 14th ELIZ., MICH.  [=1571]

Robert Benne, Thomas Laythes, Cler., Cuthbert Rogers, William Browne, John Nicholson, John Feran of Deanscales, John Feran of Perdisson, Henry Bowman

William Woodhall, gen., and Mary, his wife.

3 messuages and land in : Overclyfton als Kyrkelyston als Parva Clyfton, Locraybanck, Gosforth, Hayle, Deaneskayles, Perdisson, Lamplewgh, Ullocke
£80

The first entry in each record are the buyers, the second the sellers.


William and Mary Woodhall have memorial tablets here in Saffron Walden:

https://www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org/Publisher/File.aspx?ID=219868


My interest, though, lies in Henry Bowmnan. His wife Dorothy was niece to Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury, and by the time the Lamplugh registers start in 1581, was probably the most important yeoman in Lamplugh, with two adjacent properties in Lamplugh itself, and an adjacent property in Ullock. His illegitimate (born before marriage) son William became apparitor of the local ecclesiastical court.


The point to notice about the second action/record is, of course, that it affected a considerably larger number of people than the single instance of the feet of fine would suggest.

Chris
lipkatatar
2020-02-25 12:43:23 UTC
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Hi Vance!

Many thanks for your response. I checked out the records for 1571 and found around 50 relating to Cornwall. This probably means that there could be tens of thousands of such records relating to Cornwall waiting to be discovered among the common Pleas files.

Best regards,
Jim.
Vance Mead
2020-02-25 13:37:13 UTC
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There were massive amounts of litigation in the years 1580-1650, so I wouldn't be surprised if there are thousands of final concords each year in the early 17th century. So there well may be thousands relating to Cornwall.

On AALT they are arranged by county. I suppose these are the ones you've been looking at?

1200-1400
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/CP25(1)a.html
1400-1509
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/CP25(1)b.html

To give an idea how the Common Pleas entries relate to the final concords, here is one example:

In Common Pleas (CP40):
1491 Hilary/fronts 44, fourth to last entry:
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/H7/CP40no915/aCP40no915fronts/IMG_0044.htm
Herts. Bernard Brocas gives the king 6 shillings 8 pence to concord with Robert Mede and Joan his wife on a plea of covenant for 40 acres of land, two acres meadow in Long Merston, Coblecote and Wyvelesthorn in Tringe.

In Feet of Fines (CP25):
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/CP25%281%29/CP25%281%29Herts91/B/IMG_0203.htm
This is the final concord made in the King’s court at Westminster, Octave of Purification of St Mary, in the sixth year of Henry VII before (list of judges) between Bernard Brocas, esquire, Richard Lee, John Burdon, querents, and Robert Mede and Joan his wife, deforciants, for 40 acres of land and 2 acres of meadow with appurtenances in Long Merston, Goblecote & Wyvelesthorn in parish of Trenge, etc.
s***@mindspring.com
2020-02-29 21:39:12 UTC
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Post by Vance Mead
There were massive amounts of litigation in the years 1580-1650, so I wouldn't be surprised if there are thousands of final concords each year in the early 17th century. So there well may be thousands relating to Cornwall.
On AALT they are arranged by county. I suppose these are the ones you've been looking at?
1200-1400
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/CP25(1)a.html
1400-1509
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/CP25(1)b.html
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/H7/CP40no915/aCP40no915fronts/IMG_0044.htm
Herts. Bernard Brocas gives the king 6 shillings 8 pence to concord with Robert Mede and Joan his wife on a plea of covenant for 40 acres of land, two acres meadow in Long Merston, Coblecote and Wyvelesthorn in Tringe.
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/CP25%281%29/CP25%281%29Herts91/B/IMG_0203.htm
This is the final concord made in the King’s court at Westminster, Octave of Purification of St Mary, in the sixth year of Henry VII before (list of judges) between Bernard Brocas, esquire, Richard Lee, John Burdon, querents, and Robert Mede and Joan his wife, deforciants, for 40 acres of land and 2 acres of meadow with appurtenances in Long Merston, Goblecote & Wyvelesthorn in parish of Trenge, etc.
How much overlap is there between the final concords found in the Common Pleas records and those found in the Feet of Fines? Do either of these groups of records have a large number of final concords which do not appear in the other?

Stewart Baldwin
Vance Mead
2020-03-01 06:02:11 UTC
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The overlap should be 100%, since they were part of the same process: a fictitious lawsuit recorded in Common Pleas (CP40) and then a final concord recorded in CP25.

I have been able to match all or most of them in early 16th century Essex for some surnames. Trying to match all of CP40 with all of CP25 would be an impossible undertaking. There are some CP40 rolls that are badly damaged, so there would be gaps there.
Post by s***@mindspring.com
How much overlap is there between the final concords found in the Common Pleas records and those found in the Feet of Fines? Do either of these groups of records have a large number of final concords which do not appear in the other?
Stewart Baldwin
Wibs
2020-03-04 09:38:10 UTC
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Post by Vance Mead
The overlap should be 100%, since they were part of the same process: a fictitious lawsuit recorded in Common Pleas (CP40) and then a final concord recorded in CP25.
I have been able to match all or most of them in early 16th century Essex for some surnames. Trying to match all of CP40 with all of CP25 would be an impossible undertaking. There are some CP40 rolls that are badly damaged, so there would be gaps there.
Very interesting Vance. Does CP40 contain information that is not in CP25, and vice versa? If you find a CP40 or CP25, should you always attempt to find the other corresponding document?

Wibs
Vance Mead
2020-03-04 13:55:10 UTC
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Here are three pairs for one family I'm looking into, Kellogg in Essex. The Feet of Fines have been published and are online (link below).

The match between the two is pretty exact. (I have written out the abbreviations.) In Common Pleas they were only interested in the money paid to the crown, while the feet of fines contains the purchase price.


1560 Easter/fronts b 1044
Essex. Christopher Sumner pays ten shillings to have concord with Thomas Kelloge and Marion his wife concerning one messuage, one curtilage, 20 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, and 16 acres of pasture in Ultyng, Hatfeld Peverell and Boroham.
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT3/Eliz/CP40no1187/aCP40no1187fronts/IMG_1044.htm

Easter & Michaelmas 2 & 3 Elizabeth (1560)
Page 81:
Christopher Sumner, plaintiff, Thomas Kelloge & wife Marion, deforciants. 1 messuage, 1 curtilage, 20 acres arable, 10 acres meadow & 16 acres pasture in Ulting, Hatfeld Peverell & Boreham. £80.


1561 Michaelmas/fronts a 489
Essex. John Pyke pays 6 shillings 8 pence to have concord with Thomas Kellogge alias Kellocke and Marion his wife concerning 2 messuages, 2 barns, 2 stables, 2 gardens and 2 orchards in Malden.
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT3/Eliz/CP40no1196/aCP40no1196fronts/IMG_0489.htm

Michaelmas 3 & 4 Elizabeth (1561)
Page 90:
John Pyke, plaintiff. Thomas Kellogge alias Kellocke & wife Marion, deforciants. 2 messuage, 2 barns, 2 stables, 2 gardens & 2 orchards in Malden. £40.


1564 Hilary 1215/dorses 652
Essex. Thomas Unwyn alias Ounyon gives the Queen six shillings eight pence for license to concord with Edward Ryche alias Kylhogg; Cecily his wife; John Cornell; Judith his wife; concerning one messuage, one toft, one garden, ten acres land, two acres meadow with appurtenances in Sampford Magna and Byrdebroke.
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT3/Eliz/CP40no1215/bCP40no1215dorses/IMG_0652.htm

Hilary 6 Elizabeth
Page 106:
Thomas Unwyn alias Onnyon & Thomas French, plaintiffs. Edward Ryche alias Kylhogg & wife Cecily & John Cornell & wife Judith, deforciants. 1 messuage, 1 toft, 1 garden., 10 acre arable & 2 acres meadow in Great Sampford & Byrdebroke, Def. quitclaimed to pl. & the heirs of Thomas Unwyn. £40.


Feet of Fines for Essex, Volume V
http://esah1852.org.uk/images/pdf/ffines/F1500000.pdf


These are the two I posted earlier. The description of the property is the same but there are two extra names among the querents. Possibly trustees or agents?

In Common Pleas (CP40):
1491 Hilary/fronts 44, fourth to last entry:
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/H7/CP40no915/aCP40no915fronts/IMG_0044.htm
Herts. Bernard Brocas gives the king 6 shillings 8 pence to concord with Robert Mede and Joan his wife on a plea of covenant for 40 acres of land, two acres meadow in Long Merston, Coblecote and Wyvelesthorn in Tringe.

In Feet of Fines (CP25):
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/CP25%281%29/CP25%281%29Herts91/B/IMG_0203.htm
This is the final concord made in the King’s court at Westminster, Octave of Purification of St Mary, in the sixth year of Henry VII before (list of judges) between Bernard Brocas, esquire, Richard Lee, John Burdon, querents, and Robert Mede and Joan his wife, deforciants, for 40 acres of land and 2 acres of meadow with appurtenances in Long Merston, Goblecote & Wyvelesthorn in parish of Trenge, etc.


So there isn't a lot of extra information in one or the other, based on this small sample. The main difference is that we have indexed about one in ten of the CP terms between about 1345 and 1565 (about one in six from 1509-1550), and there many Feet of Fines after 1509 that are not available online, either in the original or in print.
s***@mindspring.com
2020-03-04 18:26:03 UTC
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Post by Wibs
Very interesting Vance. Does CP40 contain information that is not in CP25, and vice versa? If you find a CP40 or CP25, should you always attempt to find the other corresponding document?
In my page-by-page searches, I have found only one example of a final concord appearing in both CP40 and CP25, most likely due to the narrowness of my searches. (Unless I notice something interesting by accident, I only check Worcestershire entries, and I only read those carefully if they have surnames of interest to me.) The one example I found, from 1335, also appears in the Pipe Rolls (also available at AALT). In the early period, if you have a final concord from the Common Pleas, it shouldn't be too difficult to find the same final concord in the Feet of Fines. The opposite direction would be a much more tedious search, unless you are lucky enough that the appropriate term of the Common Pleas has been indexed.

Stewart Baldwin
Vance Mead
2020-03-04 19:49:00 UTC
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I have an extensive database or people found in Common Pleas. Out if interest, for some concords in CP40 in the early 15th century, I could find them in CP25 immediately using Chris Philips' abstracts. Where he doesn't have the abstract it took just a few minutes to scroll through the AALT records, which are divided by reign and county. For most counties there are only half a dozen or so for each year at that time.


if you have a final concord from the Common Pleas, it shouldn't be too difficult to find the same final concord in the Feet of Fines.
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