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John de Valle

Robert of Chilton’s relatively simple case can be contrasted with a later, longer case concerning a bailiff’s accountability. But what comprised the core of the Chilton case here formed only the preliminaries. In fact the story to be narrated deals solely with what happens after an initial alleged failure of a bailiff to account for himself, the bailiff’s subsequent forced accounting and charging with debt, and his consequent appeal against that verdict.

It is at this third point that John de Valle’s story appears in the records. This case’s interest is to show the system of holding bailiffs to account in a mature phase late in the thirteenth century. The record of the case begins as an ex parte writ from Edward I to the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer dated 11 November 1291.[1] Ex parte was a way of disputing an allegedly overdue account—so the case emerges in the records a long way in. From the writ we learn that John de Valle, a former bailiff in Ireland of Agnes de Valence, had been imprisoned in London’s Fleet prison for arrears in the account due to her. Her auditors had allocated to John receipts that he said ‘he has not received’. They, he alleged, likewise refused to allow him ‘expenses and reasonable payments’ for this office. The King, says the writ, since he did not want John to be injured [iniurietur] because of this, ordered the barons of the Exchequer to agree sureties for John and a date when he would return before them to stand to right ‘according to the form of the statute provided by the common counsel of our realm’ (iuxta formam statuti de communi consilio regni nostriprovisi). Agnes, for her part, was to come ‘with the rolls and tallies’ John had offered originally on his side.[2] This order from Edward I prefaces the subsequent proceedings in the Exchequer of Pleas where the case then continued.

This summary makes clear both implicitly and explicitly that we are dealing with a much more sophisticated world than Robert of Chilton’s in terms of seigneurial officers’ accountability. Here are standardized legal actions for bailiffs’ accounting (writs); statutes agreed by counsel; a mass of accounts, receipts, rolls, and tallies; concepts of equity (‘reasonable’ payments); and the involvement of one of the Crown’s oldest and most powerful courts (the Exchequer). In many ways the techniques of holding officers to account appear to have progressed.

Agnes de Valence (d. 1310) was the daughter of William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, and granddaughter of Hugues X of Lusignan and Isabella of Angouleme, King John’s widow. Henry III was thus her uncle and her family stood at the heart of England’s enormous political dispute about ‘alien’ influences over the King in the mid-thirteenth century.[3] Her own marriages display a judicious taste for well-placed British and Continental husbands, and included John de Balliol’s eldest son Hugh (d. 1271) and Jean d’Avesnes, lord of Beaumont and the second son of the Countess of Hainault (d. 1283).[4] Her first husband was the Irish Fitzgerald heir, and that connection provides the basis for this case.

The Valences’ Irish connections began, however, with Agnes’s father’s marriage to the Marshall heir Joan of Munchensi in 1247, through whom William obtained the lordship of Wexford.[5] Agnes obtained lands in her own right in 1266 at Kenilworth (during the siege) when her marriage to Maurice Fitzgerald (grandson and namesake of the former Justiciar of Ireland, d. 1257), was formalized. The charter accompanying the marriage gave Agnes a life interest in the Fitzgerald’s Limerick lands.[6] Maurice was dead by 1268 and the apparently childless marriage meant the Fitzgerald lands passed to a son from a previous marriage, the palindromic Gerald fitz Maurice Fitzgerald. In spring 1269 Agnes and William de Valence bought his wardship from Thomas of Clare for 3,500 marks.27 The following spring William de Valence visited Ireland to help in Agnes’s court case with Thomas over this deal.28 Her stepson Gerald died seventeen years later, granting before his death Lea Castle, Kildare, and the Offaly lands to his cousin, the future Earl of Kildare, John fitz Thomas Fitzgerald.29 The subsequent dispute between this Fitzgerald and Agnes de Valance lasted for the rest of her life. The dispute over de Valle’s debts lasted at least until 1306.

The Exchequer of Pleas’ record (TNA E 13/17 m. 6-6d) has the following stages: Edward I’s writ of 19 November 1291 and a late Michaelmas 1291 session at the Exchequer; sessions in the Hilary and Easter terms of 1292; and the Hilary and Trinity 1293 sessions.30 At the start the spotlight was entirely on de Valle, yet some fifteen years later as the case dragged on, de Valle had evaporated from citations and the focus, by the end, was entirely on his pledges.31

It is hard to be sure who John de Valle was, and when records for this name are for ‘our’ John de Valle.32 The de Valles (‘Dale’) came from Pembrokeshire and held land in Carlow, Wexford, and Kilkenny.33 If Agnes’s John de Valle is one of the Ardbristan and Inchyolaghan line then he must be the knight John de Valle the younger, succeeding his father sometime between c. 1279 and c. 1293.34 In 1285 a man by that name was paid 10s. by Bishop Stephen of Waterford for carrying harness to Connaught on the Justiciar’s orders.35 On 10 July 1292 the patent rolls record letters of attorney granted at Berwick-upon-Tweed for two years to Adam of St Edmund and David fitz Roger for a John de Valle (this does sound like Agnes’s John) who remained ‘by licence’ in England.36 A John

Hartland, ‘English Lords in Late Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Century Ireland: Roger Bigod and the de Clare Lords of Thomond’, EHR 122 (2007), 318—48 at 341.

  • 27 30 March—2 April 1270, Calendar Documents Ireland, ii. 1252—84, ##866—8 = CR 1268—1272, 258—60. See also #1039 (Michaelmas 1274).
  • 28 On Agnes’s fight with Thomas de Clare over the Offaly custody see Royal and Other Historical Letters Illustrative of the Reign of Henry HI, ed. W W. Shirley, RS, 2 vols. (1862—6), ii. #683 (1272); Robin Frame, ‘Fitzgerald, Maurice [called Muiris Ruadh] (d. 1268)’, ODNB.
  • 29 Cormac О Cleirigh, ‘Fitzgerald, John fitz Thomas, First Earl of Kildare (d. 1316)’, ODNB.
  • 30 For Exchequer of Pleas sessions see Paul Brand’s comments in A Handbook of Dates for Students of British History, ed. C. R. Cheney, rev. Michael Jones, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks 4 (Cambridge, 2000), 105—6.
  • 31 The trail seems finally to run cold with the long 27 January 1306 entry from the Dublin Court of Pleas, Calendar of Justiciary Rolls Ireland, ii. 1305—1307, 204—13. These records were almost entirely destroyed by civil war in 1922.
  • 32 For the difficulties arising from the name’s proliferation see e.g. Calendar of Ormond Deeds, ed. Edmund Curtis, 6 vols. (Dublin, 1932—43), i. #816. For the region in general, Beth Hartland, ‘The Liberties of Ireland in the Reign of Edward I’, in Michael Prestwich (ed.), Liberties and Identities in the Medieval British Isles (Woodbridge, 2008), 200—16.
  • 33 Eric St. John Brooks, Knights’ Fees in Co-unties Wexford, Carlow, and Kilkenny (13th—15th Century) (Dublin, 1950), 66—8.
  • 34 1293 is the latest, from Register of the Hospital of S. John the Baptist, ed. Eric St. John Brooks (Dublin, 1936), #413; c.1279 the earliest (St. John Brooks, Knights’ Fees, 67). See also Calendar of Ormond Deeds, i. ##159, 226, 257, 361, 559.
  • 35 Calendar Documents Ireland, iii. 1285—1292, #169 at 74.
  • 36 Calendar Documents Ireland, iii. 1285—1292, #1134.

de Valle (along with numerous others, including some of our John’s pledges) received letters enjoining him to obey the newly appointed Justiciar of Ireland John Wogan and then to bring his men to Whitehaven in March 1296 to aid in the Scottish war.[7] It is harder to be sure of Agnes’s ex-bailiff being the free tenant John de Valle who held two carucates of land at Kilsethith for service of 6s. 8d. and rendered 2s. yearly in 1298/9.[8] Around 1279 a John de Valle received with relatives a grant of land and pasture in Ballyverneen; around 1300 he and his heirs gained fourteen arable acres in Cnockaslam.[9] In June 1307 Roger Bigod’s wife Alice gained his rights over numerous knight’s fees, including one held by ‘John de Val’ in Ardbristan.[10] It was presumably this same John de Valle who elsewhere is noted as holding a knight’s fee of 40s. at Ardbristan and doing suit at the court of Forth again in 1306/7.[11] Irrespectively, Agnes’s John seemingly held land, making the question of monstravits use striking given its predication on a bailiff’s landlessness. Agnes’s John is explicitly cited in a case of 1300 as the co-holder with John of Hothum of a tenement at Poynston at Rathmore and Hothum’s disseisin of it by Agnes’s bailiff is justified on the grounds of John de Valle’s debts to her.[12]

Internal evidence from the case at least clarifies de Valle as a bailiff.[13] He had access to up-to-date legal brains (his own?), as well as the right people. The case begins after all with de Valle using the recent ex parte writ to get out of the Fleet and procure the King’s order to the Exchequer to investigate the problem. De Valle’s pledges would include the King’s co-crusader and former Irish justiciar Geoffrey de Geneville, Lord of Trim, whose daughter enjoyed a short-lived marriage (1284 x 1297) to Agnes’s stepson;[14] the soon-to-be justiciar William Dodingseles;[15] John fitz Thomas Fitzgerald, the Geraldine heir apparent to Agnes’s stepson Gerald fitz Maurice Fitzgerald;[16] and the knights Walter l’Enfaunt (a future royal justice) and

James Keating.47 When this bailiff took his lady to law he did so well prepared politically and legally.

What had happened to de Valle was this. He had been the bailiff of Agnes and her husband, Jean d’Avesnes, in Ireland, ‘guarding’ unspecified ‘lands and tenements’ there.48 When the relationship had broken down is unclear, but it may predate 1283 when Avesnes died, since de Valle is specified as his bailiff as well as Agnes’s. There had then been a dispute about de Valle’s accounting and debts on behalf of the couple. We know this because ex parte was an appeal against such accountings which the 1285 legislation known as Statute of Westminster II (cap. 11) provided for.49 So in 1291 de Valle had already been forced to account and his answers found wanting by his plaintiff-lord. Avesnes’s auditors had taken up their legal right to then commit the defendant-bailiff to the king’s prison. Obliged by ex parte, the law then unrolled, requiring a second audit to be undertaken at the Exchequer, by its appointed auditors, William of Carleton, Exchequer baron, and Walter of Castello.50

They found that the total of John’s original receipts and issues (receptus et exitus) was ?5,313. 2s. 12d: John had been originally allowed ?3,840. 8s. 11^d. of this. Aside from this, three further debts were attributed to John. A further ?1,023. 6s. 11 d. was disputed, which, John said, ‘he had delivered to various merchants on the order of the aforesaid John [d’Avesnes] and Agnes for the same John and Agnes’s debts’ [quos dixit se liberasse diversis mercatoribus exprecepto predictorum Iohannis et Agn pro debitis eorundem Iohannis et Agn]. The ex-bailiff lacked, however, ‘letters of quittance proving the said payment’ [litteras acquietanciepredictam solutionem testifi- cantes]. Secondly, John remained liable for ?23. 6s. 8d. for the cost of 36 crannock51 of wheat and 43 crannock of oats which he said he had delivered to William of Loges, Agnes’s clerk at Rathmore, on leaving Ireland. But, again, John ‘did not have a letter from the said William proving the same delivery’ [non habuit litteram predicti Willelmipredictam liberacionem testificantem], so Agnes’s auditors had not conceded this either. Thirdly, even allowing for this, John was still ?426 short [debuit de claro] of his total liabilities, ‘for which he had been committed to the King’s prison of the Fleet by the auditors of the said Agnes’ [pro quibus commisus fuit prisone Regis de Fflete per auditorespredicte Agn]. Now John de Valle newly produced, in front of William of Carleton and Walter of Castello, new accounts of these debts and much more about ‘the different outlays and expenses which he says he had to make in the service of the said John [d’Avesnes] and Agnes in parts of Ireland, regarding which he seeks justice for himself.’ [de diversis misis et expensis quas dicit se necessarie fecisse in servicio predictorum Iohannis et Agn’ in partibus Hibernie’, de quibus petit iustitiam sibi fieri].52

The following are noteworthy. De Valle had discretion over very large amounts of money. He appears to be liaising directly with merchant-bankers (from England,

Hainault, Brabant, and Lombardy as it turns out), again for large amounts of money. Since Valence does not dispute his right to do so (it is his quittances she hangs him on), de Valle was presumably empowered to do so. Significantly, de Valle appears at the mercy of those from or to whom he had taken or given assets, either through his own incompetence in obtaining, or their refusal to give him, receipts. Yet he does not seem to have been so incompetent that he lacked ‘some detailed accounts from the said arrears’ which he could bring before the court to prove his good faith (presumably either notes, accounts, or tallies of his own).[17] It is possible therefore that de Valle’s were legitimate debts. Nor is it hard to imagine the power a lord (or lady) might gain over a servant-employee by withholding such receipts or quittances—a powerful incentive for future ‘good behaviour’.[18] The Valences had a reputation for hard estate management, on both the male and female side. The exploits of one steward, William de Bussey, have been well-analysed.[19] But Agnes’s mother Joan, Lady of Wexford also had form as a hard financial taskmistress. Her steward Adam de le Roche submitted a detailed petition in 1300/1 to the King’s Council complaining at how over ?250 of allowances allowed and documented were being refused.[20] The Valence reputation would be a good explanation of John de Valle’s own facility at law.

Written records could prove a poor defence anyway. In 1295, the King received numerous petitions from London citizens concerning crimes alleged against William March, Bishop of Bath (1293—1302), Treasurer at the Exchequer (dismissed later that year). These included Nicholas of Clere’s complaint that while he was accounting at the Exchequer, ‘the bishop himself took his [Clere’s] royal letters patent and another guarantee showing that he had loyally delivered the treasure of the king following his command and these letters and guarantees [March] wrongfully disallowed and withheld and, although he owes nothing, for arrears in his account and for other illicit judgements, he imprisoned him and held him in prison for three years since the morrow of Epiphany’.[21] A more graphic case is the earlier one of John le Waleys, who, when trying to serve a citation on the serial pluralist Bogo of Clare, was forced by Clare’s familia to ‘eat those letters, and even the seals attached to them, by force and against his will’, before being beaten and imprisoned.[22]

Agnes de Valence’s own rough justice was less imaginative but not unpractised. In Wodeholm her bailiffs’ trespasses and amercements led to a petition in the Michaelmas 1290 parliament.[23] There also John Francis, another former Valence bailiff, petitioned to be freed from the Fleet where he too had been for ‘a year and a half for a certain account which Agnes de Valence demands from him’.[24] Was Francis sinner or sinned against? Agnes de Valence was also accused of champerty (participating in a suit to profit from it)—enticing the justiciar and Lord of Kildare William de Vescy to support her case against John fitz Thomas Fitzgerald.[25] It is not clear therefore that Valence had been made soft by life in the ‘home counties of England’, nor that de Valle’s case was a fraudulent one.[26]

The difficulty of establishing whether servants had accounted to masters is illustrated by a case connected to de Valle’s. In 1300, a freeholder of Poynston by Rathmor, John of Hothum, brought a successful action of novel disseisin against Valence and another bailiff of hers who had thrown Hothum off his tenement—which he had held for many years of Reyner de Valle and John de Valle. In unsuccessful defence, Valence’s bailiff argued all of de Valle’s property was forfeit to his lady, and so this tenement was forfeit.[27] Now none of this prevented Hothum himself becoming a Valence bailiff (for Rathmor!). He then experienced exactly the same problem as de Valle, and John Francis: that is, he became indebted to Valence for ?171. 11s.—and admitted as much. Afterwards, Hothum realized that his only way out was to cover over this admission. So Hothum,

suggesting to the court that the auditors of the account unduly aggrieved him on the account, charging him with receipts which he did not receive, and not allowing expenses and reasonable payments, sued a writ by which he was delivered by mainprise to be before the Treasurer and barons of the Exchequer, Dublin, at a certain day [. . .] In suing which writ, he did not mention the fact of the acknowledgement of said arrears which he made before said justices, which fact if he had stated he would not have obtained the writ.[28]

Hothums case is a useful pendent to de Valle’s. It shows the difficulty in these cases of really knowing who is defrauding whom, and shows that bailiffs and lords could act against each other with equal cynicism. It also implies a court was likely to credit lord and bailiff as equally unaccountable, equally capable of manipulating the very machinery that was designed to produce accountability, in order to obscure their own negligence, corruption, or debt.[29]

In de Valle’s case, the barons of the Exchequer agreed that any analysis of who had done what was impossible ‘regarding the discharges and expenses given in the regions of Ireland’, and that ‘they could not have a just and sufficient knowledge (iustam et sufficientem cognitionem) except through men from Irish lands’.[30] John and Agnes could not agree, however, on who could help in the investigation (dis- cussio) of these accusations and altercations (calumpniis et altercationibus). The case therefore defaulted to sessions in Hilary and Easter 1292 when the Treasurer and Justice of Pleas, Robert Bagot, were agreed as auditors. The remainder of the story can be briefly summarized. De Valle asks for more time to be given to get hold of acquittances from the numerous merchants. The barons grant him nine months (to 14 January 1293) on condition that he secures more pledges[31] and that if he does not then appear he will pay the whole of the ?1,023 figure. Come January 1293, de Valle defaults and absconds (omnino se subtraxit as a later summary says). Through 1293 the case pivots, tipping from its tight hold on de Valle to a broad and ultimately unfocused grasp on a mass of first and second pledges and their proxies. The sheriffs of Devon, Warwickshire, and Somerset are drawn into the search for them, many of whom then also disappear.[32] In fact only one, Dodingseles, appeared in January 1293, ‘for the reason that he could in no way fly off (devolitare) or excuse [himself]’. Given de Valle’s absence, Dodingseles, together with the first set of pledges, becomes liable for the original ‘undisputable debt’ of ?426 for which de Valle was in the Fleet.[33] The final judgement with which this plea record ends, however, is this. Since neither de Valle, nor his second batch of pledges came,

It is adjudged that the aforesaid Agnes should recover her property against the aforesaid John [fitz Thomas Fitzgerald], Walter [son of Walter Lenfaunt], James [Keating], John [of Ffulburn], Walter [of Bodynton] and John [Punchardun] for the aforesaid ?1,023 6s. and 11d.[34]

From this point Agnes and the courts turn to pursue the pledges, a long and involved set of claim and counter-claim of progressively diminishing returns, only wearing itself out in 1306.71

These two cases provide two illustrations of two bailiffs at the start of the twelfth and at the end of the thirteenth century. They suggest questions and offer answers regarding what bailiffs were and did, how this changed, and why.

‘Who, whom?’ is a good question to ask here. What did Robert of Chilton do as a prepositus? He fought with his superior—intensely. He contested the terms of his ‘contract’ with some—but not enough—legal skill. He sub-let his villicatio presumably to increase his gain from the manor, but in a way that its owner was unhappy with. And when it came to a fight, he jostled—as did his land-lord—to place the case in a jurisdiction that was likely to favour him. Finally, he lost.72 What did John de Valle do as a bailiff? Asking ‘Who, whom?’ produces more interesting answers here. The scale of his responsibilities and management of large sums of money estates imply he was more steward than bailiff functionally if not legally. Like Robert of Chilton, he too fought with his employer/lord, Agnes, and for it suffered imprisonment. To free himself he enlisted an impressive clutch of pledges with strong local knowledge as well as political clout. He was, again, legally well informed.

We do not know the detail about any informal means Agnes de Valence used to resolve the dispute with John de Valle before going to law, or whether he evaded customary accountings. We can assume an enforced accounting preceding the ex parte writ (its premise). One contrast with the Wye case is the total displacement of accountability from John de Valle to his pledges, notwithstanding the limited success of this shift. Although well-rooted enough in his locale to procure these pledges, de Valle seems to cut his losses. If this John de Valle is one of those we can see—perplexingly—holding land thereabouts then he disappeared sufficiently to leave the courts and Valence with no choice but to turn to his pledges. Another contrast is that the Irish dispute was less over the terms of any quasi-contract and more a procedural game of cat and mouse, where questions of receipts and quittances were critical. It can be hard indeed to tell cat from mouse. Each case therefore, almost two centuries apart, produces its puff of confusion in different places.73 This seems a function of where each bailiff could best stand his ground: on a question of status (Chilton), or on a question of records (de Valle). This difference could be exaggerated, but it is a real contrast. The final contrast, between these two cases, is obvious. Robert of Chilton lost. After a fashion John de Valle won. At least, if he did indeed owe Agnes the ‘clear’ ?426, plus the ?1,023. 6s. 11d., plus the ?23. 6s. 8d. worth of grain, he seems never to have paid it back. If his arguments were genuine his victory was more sour, since it was only through ‘completely absconding’ that he obtained his own rough justice and evaded the attempt to hold him to account, whether that was sought of him in good faith or bad.

  • 72 Had that ‘legal realist’ at Barnwell offered his assessment of bailiffs’ accountability, it might have sounded something like that. See BL Harley MS 3601 (c.1295—6), ed. as Liber memorandum ecclesie de Bernewelle, analysed in M. T. Clanchy, ‘A Medieval Realist: Interpreting the Rules at Barnwell Priory, Cambridge’, in Elspeth Attwooll (ed.), Perspectives in Jurisprudence (Glasgow, 1977), 176—94. Unfortunately the chronicler does not discuss such actions.
  • 73 Cf. Susan Reynold’s ironic comment on common law actions becoming ‘more enchantingly complex’ over the thirteenth century, ‘How Different was England?’, TCE 7 (1999), 1—16 at 2.

  • [1] 21 Ex parte is a writ available to ‘bailiffs’ who allege they have been unjustly seized for wronglyfailing to account for themselves in office. See Registrum omnium brevium, tam originalium quam judi-calium (London, 1634), 137v—138r, and on various writs of account, 135—8. I put ‘bailiff’s’ in quotesgiven the legalistic, not functional way in which they are principally defined in relation to actions ofaccount. See the Florentine merchants discussed on pp. 45—6.
  • [2] TNA E 13/17 m. 6. Calendar summary in Calendar Documents Ireland, ii. 1285—1292, ed.H. S. Sweetman (London, 1886), #993. Henry III’s and Edward I’s extant Exchequer plea recordsare listed in Select Cases in the Exchequer of Pleas, ed. Hilary Jenkinson and Beryl E. R. Formoy, SS48 (London, 1932), xxi—xxv, here at xxiii. There is brief commentary in Noel Denholm-Young,Seignorial Administration in England (London, 1937), 158 and n. 3. The story is thoroughly analysedfrom the wider perspective of Agnes and John fitz Thomas’s relationship in Cormac О Cleirigh, ‘TheAbsentee Landlady and the Sturdy Robbers: Agnes de Valence’. in Christine Meek and KatharineSimms (eds.), ‘The Fragility of her Sex’? Medieval Irishwomen in their European Context (Blackrock,1996), 101-18.
  • [3] 23 The Complete Peerage ofEngland, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant,extinct or dormant, ed. G. E. C. Cokayne et al., 14 vols., new edn. (London, 1910-59), x. 377-81;H. W. Ridgway, ‘Valence, [Lusignan], William de, earl of Pembroke (d. 1296)’, ODNB.
  • [4] 24 Complete Peerage, x. 16-17.
  • [5] Married on 13 August 1247, noted in Paris, Chronica majora, iv. 628-9. For royal grants andallowances to William, see e.g. CPR 1232-1247, 505-6, 508-9; CPR 1247-1258, 10.
  • [6] 26 1 November 1299 reconfirmation of the charter: CPR 1292-1301, 450-1 = Calendar DocumentsIreland, iv. 1293-1301, #672. See also Complete Peerage, x. 16. There is a helpful family tree in Beth
  • [7] Calendar Documents Ireland, iv. 1293—1301, ##270, 276. Wogan was a tenant of William deValence and married to a Margaret de Valle (see ODNB entry for Sir John). For further references forthe Irish contingent in the war, see Michael Prestwich, Edward I (London, 1988), 470 n. 4.
  • [8] 38 Calendar Documents Ireland, iv. 1293—1301, #551 at 257.
  • [9] 39 Calendar of Ormond Deeds, i. #226 at 361.
  • [10] Calendar Documents Ireland, v. 1302—7, #673.
  • [11] Calendar Documents Ireland, v. 1302—7, #617 at 173, 179; Calendar of Ormond Deeds, #559.
  • [12] 42 Calendar Justiciary Rolls Ireland, ii. 1295—1303, 322. The calendaring of this now destroyed rollimplies that the seisin was justified since Valle ‘had bound himself to pay her said money (or that) allhis lands should be forfeited to her, and she might enter them’.
  • [13] For local administrators of English lords in Ireland generally see Beth Hartland, ‘“To serve Welland Faithfully”: The Agents of Aristocratic English Lordship in Leinster c.1272—c.1315’, MedievalProsopography 24 (2003), 195—246.
  • [14] Justiciar from 1273 to 1276. See James Lydon, ‘The Years of Crisis, 1254—1315’ and ‘A Land ofWar’, in Art Cosgrove (ed.), A New History of Ireland, ii. Medieval Ireland 1169—1534 (Oxford, 1987),179-204 and 240-74 at 189-91, 257-9.
  • [15] Justiciar, from 18 October 1294 to pre-19 October 1295. See A. J. Otway-Ruthven, A Historyof Medieval Ireland (London, 1968), 211 n. 58.
  • [16] 46 ‘Apparent’ because Gerald fitz Maurice Fitzgerald had not completed the transfer before hisdeath, exacerbating the conflict between Agnes and John fitz Thomas Fitzgerald. On this complicatedstory see О Cleirigh, ‘Absentee Landlady’, 105, 107-9.
  • [17] Looking, presumably, not dissimilar from TNA E 101/505/34, John ofTarrants 1296—9 bundleof tallies, notes, and lists for Ufford church.
  • [18] 54 Agnes was instructed to come with ‘the rolls and tallies and with all other instruments throughwhich she can burden [onerare] the said John with the aforesaid account and further accounts andcertain demands [certas occasiones] for which the said John, because of the said account was arrestedand his imprisonment explained’, TNA E 13/17 m. 6.
  • [19] Andrew H. Hershey, ‘The Rise and Fall of William de Bussey: A Mid-Thirteenth CenturySteward’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 44 (2000), 104—21.
  • [20] 56 Documents on the Affairs of Ireland Before the King's Council, ed. G. O. Sayles (Dublin, 1979),#64. Cf. Robert Immer’s plea to Joan to be released from prison to account and discussed in Hartland, ‘ “To Serve Well and Faithfully” ’, 203, 226.
  • [21] 57 Select Cases before the King's Council, 1243—1482, ed. I. S. Leadam and J. F. Baldwin, SS 35(1918), 10-18 at 12.
  • [22] 58 Querela at the Easter 1290 parliament, PROME, i. Edward I, 1275—1294 (ed. Paul Brand), 193(his trans.). Since Clare argued that his ignorance of who did this was a sufficient defence, the caseillustrates a later point (pp. 65-7) about the accountable line between servants’ actions and masters’liabilities. On Bogo see n. 231.
  • [23] PROME, i. Edward 1:1275-1294, 292. 2 PROME, i. Edward 1:1275-1294, 296.
  • [24] 61 PROME, i. Edward 1:1275-1294, 662 (Michaelmas 1293).
  • [25] 62 Pace О Cleirigh, ‘Absentee Landlady’, 116 and 117, ‘absentee landladies were an unaffordable luxury’. It is certainly true that slippery tricks were used against Agnes—notably the disseisinof her lands by John fitz Thomas Fitzgerald on the back of his false claim that she was dead! See
  • [26] PROME, ii. Edward I: 1294-1307 (ed. Paul Brand), 172—3, 267—8, 339 (for 28 February 1305).I am not convinced that systematic comparison with other female landlords would prove their greatergeneral inferiority. Cf. on Margaret de Lacy, Countess of Lincoln, Louise J. Wilkinson, ‘Pawn andPolitical Player: Observations on the Life of a Thirteenth Century Countess’, Historical Research73 (2000), 105—23 (and text and nn. 155, 156 on Grosseteste’s Rules); cf. on Isabella de Fortibus,Denholm-Young, Seignorial Administration, passim.
  • [27] Calendar Justiciary Rolls Ireland, i. 1295-1303, 322 (7 May 1300).
  • [28] 64 Calendar Justiciary Rolls Ireland, ii. 1305-7, 19—20 at 20 (27 January 1305). Although Hothumis discharged because Agnes sends no one to court, he remains a marked man.
  • [29] So J. H. Baker: ‘Practising lawyers know that success in litigation is not always, or even often,dependent upon a pure matter of law. It is more a matter of how a tribunal can be persuaded of thefacts as the party sees them, and how it can be persuaded to see those facts in a warm light which doesnot relegate the party’s best point of law to the shadows’, Why the History of English Law Has Not BeenFinished (Cambridge, 1999), 10—11.
  • [30] TNA E 13/17 m. 6.
  • [31] TNA E 13/17 m. 6, ‘John FitzThomas Fitzgerald [again], Walter, son of Walter Lenfaunt, JamesKetyng, John of Fulburne knight, Walter of Bodynton, and John Punchardun’.
  • [32] TNA E 13/17 m. 6d. 69 TNA E 13/17 m. 6d. 70 TNA E 13/17 m. 6d.
  • [33] 71 The coda is Calendar Justiciary Rolls Ireland, ii. 1305—7, 204—13 (27 January 1306). For the
  • [34] wider political-territorial context see О Cleirigh, ‘Absentee Landlady’.
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