Court of Common Pleas and King's Bench, and Justices Itinerant: Early Plea and Essoin Rolls
Formerly known as the Curia Regis Rolls, this series is an amalgamation of the plea rolls and most of the essoin rolls of the Bench (later the Common Bench and then the Court of Common Pleas and the plea rolls and the essoin rolls of the Court Coram Rege (later the Court of King's Bench) from the earliest surviving rolls down to the death of Henry III in 1272, together with all the surviving eyre rolls for the reign of Richard I and a few of those for the reign of John.
These are the earliest court rolls among the public records, recording step by step the progress of cases being carried on in those courts. They have been extensively used for research into the early history of the common law, and also for the information they give on national politics and the royal administration. Like other court records they include incidental information on many different aspects of life as well as about the people and places by and about whom the litigation was conducted. Many of them have been published in full transcript, particularly in the Curia Regis Rolls series, and a great deal is known about their individual archival history.
During the period from the late 1940s to the late 1960s Meekings undertook extensive editorial and repair work on the records and placed much unsorted plea roll miscellanea, often fragmentary, in its proper place. Many of the rolls are prefaced by introductory notes detailing their archival history, including former references, and their current make-up. Curia Regis Rolls vols XI-XVIII contain detailed physical descriptions of the rolls printed in them, and their archival history.
Some Common Pleas essoin rolls for Henry III as well as all those for subsequent reigns are in CP 21
Most eyre rolls later than 1199 are in JUST 1
Later rolls are in KB 27
Essoin rolls after 1272 are in KB 121
W K Boyd's notes on the Curia Regis rolls are in PRO 66/1/1
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