Exchequer: King's Remembrancer: Records relating to Feudal Tenure and Distraint of Knighthood
Many of the documents in this series are the originals that were copied by Exchequer clerks into the famous books of remembrance of the Exchequer: the Liber Feodorum or 'Testa de Nevill'; the Red Book of the Exchequer; the Black Book of the Exchequer; and Kirkby's Quest.
They break down into three basic types, reflecting the Crown's administration of the obligations attached to the feudal tenure of its tenants in chief: enquiries into knights' fees and serjeanties, and widows and minors in the monarch's gift; taxation returns; and documents relating to the practice of distraint of knighthood.
Amongst other enquiries, there are originals and transcripts of returns of the eyres of 1185, 1198-9, 1219 and 1227; the inquests of 1166, 1170 and 1212; the enquiry into serjeanties of 1250, which investigated alienations; and Kirkby's Quest of 1284-5, which listed the knights' fees held of the king in chief. Other enquiries investigated ecclesiastical lands and revenues, and the series includes some manorial extents.
The series contains some taxation returns for the carucage of 1220-1, the aid for the marrying of the King's sister in 1235-6, and the scutage of Gascony of 1242-3. A separate 'aid of the prelates' was also collected in 1235-6 and 1242-3.
Finally, a large number of the documents in this series relate to the practice of distraint of knighthood from the reign of Edward I (1272-1307) to that of Charles I (1625-49). Fines were levied on those who refused to become knights, though qualified to do so. They include the distraint of Charles I by the occasion of his coronation.
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