Catalogue description Chancery: Scutage Rolls and Rolls of Summons for the Performance of Knight Service

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Details of C 72
Reference: C 72
Title: Chancery: Scutage Rolls and Rolls of Summons for the Performance of Knight Service

Scutage rolls and lists of summonses for service for various domestic and foreign campaigns.

These included the sieges of Newark (1218) and Bedford (1224), the Poitevin and Gascon campaigns of 1230 and 1242, various Welsh campaigns between 1223 and 1282, and Scottish campaigns between 1303 and 1310. Most of the later documents are scutage rolls recording orders to allow various tenants-in-chief to take scutage from their own tenants.

Date: 1214-1338
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: Latin
Physical description: 13 roll(s)
Publication note:

A number of the documents in the series are calendared in Calendar of Various Chancery Rolls, 1277-1326 (1912). The dating of some of the rolls is discussed in detail in J S Critchley, 'Summonses to military service early in the reign of Henry III', English Historical Review, lxxxvi (1971), pp 79-95. For the earliest reference to scutage, see W A Morris, 'A mention of scutage in the year 1100', English Historical Review, xxxvi (1921), pp 45-46.

Administrative / biographical background:

Scutage was an aid or tax levied on knights' fees in lieu of the performance of the military service due from those fees as a result of the grant of the lands on which they lay following the Norman Conquest of 1066.

The word is first known from a charter of Henry I from 1100 granting Lewes priory exemption from it, which suggests that it had been levied in some form in the reign of William II. There is some evidence that it was levied in Henry's reign. The records relating to it are, with the exception of incidental references in charters, until the early thirteenth century almost entirely found on the early pipe rolls (E 372), in which sums levied as scutage frequently appear from the beginning of the reign of Henry II onwards.

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