Catalogue description Chancery: Treaty Rolls

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Details of C 76
Reference: C 76
Title: 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.

Note: Many of the records in this series have been transcribed or calendared in the following publications (denoted A-F at individual piece level): A-Treaty Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, 1234-1325, ed Pierre Chaplais (1955); B-Treaty Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, 1337-1339, ed John Ferguson (1972); C-Catalogue des Rolles Gascons, Normans et Francois, ed T Carte (1743), vol I (selections only); D-Catalogue des Rolles Gascons, Normans et Francois, ed T Carte (1743), vol II (selections only); E-Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records, 44 (1883), Appendix; F-Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records, 48 (1887), Appendix
Date: 1234-1675
Related material:

additional finding aid ZBOX 1/75/3

additional finding aid ZBOX 1/58/2

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: French and Latin
Physical description: 223 roll(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Publication note:

For publication note details see Note field

Administrative / biographical background:

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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