Chancery: Confirmation Rolls
Enrolled confirmations by letters patent of earlier letters patent, charters, and other miscellaneous deeds of both royal and private origin.
A confirmation generally took the form of an inspeximus, which recited verbatim the earlier charter or letter patent which was being confirmed. Other miscellaneous deeds of private origin were sometimes included in such instruments, which in such cases provided a form of official registration. The instruments thus confirmed may be of a date very much earlier than the confirmation itself, and include pre-Conquest grants, sometimes of spurious authenticity.
Recipients of royal patronage and their successors frequently obtained confirmations of their grants from the successors of the original grantor. The practice was especially common in times of political uncertainty, such as at the beginning of a reign, when the previous king's patronage came up for review; a royal minority, usurpation, or other dynastic upheaval might greatly increase the demand.
Following the accession of Richard III, Chancery did a brisk trade in confirmations, most of which were recorded on membranes endorsed 'confirmaciones' and made up into rolls specifically, and exclusively, devoted to confirmations. These form the earliest records in this series.
Despite the separate classification, however, these rolls constitute a branch of the patent rolls (C 66), on which similar confirmations were recorded before, during and after the period covered by these records, which seem to have been used as an overflow for the main series at times of great demand.
The practice of obtaining patents of confirmation appears to have become less frequent during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
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