Enrolments of writs of liberate sent out by Chancery, which ordered the treasurer and barons of the Exchequer to pay money out of the royal treasure for pensions, salaries, stipends, expenditure of the royal household and other expenses of the state.
Chancery kept a record of the issue of such writs by enrolling them on these rolls, which are thus a useful source for details of royal expenditure.
The liberate rolls also contain enrolments of writs of allocate, ordering allowance to be made to royal officials presenting accounts, for expenditure incurred by them out of money for which they were accountable; computate, ordering the reckoning of accounts presented by these accountants; and computabitur, ordering the reimbursement of money spent by royal officials on the Crown's behalf, for instance on royal works or the royal household.
The rolls are particularly valuable for details of payments during the reign of Henry III. Entries of writs become more abbreviated in the fourteenth century, and even shorter by the fifteenth. The earlier rolls contain marginal entries of the name of the payee.
Writs of liberate do not survive beyond the thirteenth century on the liberate rolls; instead they are found on the close rolls (C 54). The later rolls contain only a small number of writs of liberate and other writs initiating payments, mostly of annual fees out of the Exchequer.
Digital images of some of the records in this series are available through the Anglo-American Legal Tradition website. Please note that The National Archives is not responsible for this website or its content.