Chancery: Treaty Rolls
Several series of Chancery enrolments of treaties and other diplomatic documents, mainly relating to France and the Holy Roman Empire.
The so-called 'French rolls' include documents concerning the administration of the possessions of the English kings in France, Normandy, Ponthieu and Calais, but not Gascony (Acquitaine) and the Channel Islands.
The online protection and attorney database contains more searchable information for letters of protection for service in France and powers of attorney granted or recorded in this series, for the period 1369 - 1453. This is an external database. This resource should be used with care, as a protection or attorney only indicates an intention to serve, rather than actual service.
The 'French rolls' of Henry V constitute a valuable addition to the Norman rolls (C 64). Much information omitted from the Norman rolls, relating to retinues of nobles and knights despatched from England for the conquest of Normandy, the treaties with Burgundy and Brittany, the negotiations for the marriage of the king with Katherine of France, and the grants of lands and houses to faithful followers, are included.
The 'French rolls' of Henry VI include licences to English merchants to trade abroad, safe-conducts to foreigners visiting England or to Englishmen travelling on the continent, visits of inspection from heads of various religious orders to their convents and monasteries in England, diplomatic negotiations between England, France and Burgundy, pilgrimages to the Holy Land or Santiago de Compostella, the export of wool and the organisation of the staple at Calais, as well as the dealings of the merchants of the German Hansa.
After 1558 and the loss of Calais, the treaty rolls contain only documents relating to diplomatic affairs.
Although different in name, 'Almain rolls' and 'French rolls' contain the same sort of diplomatic material. It seems that at first the name 'Almain rolls' was adopted by the English Chancery for diplomatic enrolments made up in periods of war with France and of closer relations with the Imperial States. The practice was dropped in 1338, in which year Louis of Bavaria revoked his appointment of Edward III as vicar of the Empire. Thereafter diplomatic enrolments were styled 'rotuli Francie'.
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