Catalogue description Court of Chancery: Common Law Pleadings, Tower Series

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Details of C 44
Reference: C 44
Title: Court of Chancery: Common Law Pleadings, Tower Series

This series contains the pleadings, or formal statements by the parties, in common law suits brought in Chancery.

The variety of suits include:

  • actions on recognizances acknowledged in Chancery;
  • actions on writs of scire facias, most of which concern the revocation of royal grants and charters and the repeal of letters patent, due to fraud or abuse;
  • actions on writs of partition of land among co-parceners (joint heiresses, usually sisters) or for the assignment of dower;
  • petitions of right for relief against the Crown, generally in connection with claims to property, usually in the form of a 'traverse', or challenge, that the findings of an inquisition post mortem into lands or goods was defective or unsafe;
  • determinations of the liability of a landowner's estate to pay incidents of tenure to the Crown, by taking inquisitions and making assessments.

Date: c1272-c1485
Related material:

Other records relating to the common law business of the court of Chancery are in:

The records in this series are continued in C 206

C 221

C 222

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: Latin
Physical description: 38 boxes and files
Administrative / biographical background:

Although the chancellor was bound to observe the normal procedure of the common law in these cases, and, when issue was joined on a question of fact, submit the action, together with the record, to the court of King's Bench for settlement, a petition to Parliament in 1400-1 in fact reveals that the chancellor sometimes preferred to call the common law judges into Chancery to assist him.

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