Catalogue description Palatinate of Chester: Chester County Court and Court of Great Sessions of Chester: Final Concords and Recoveries Files

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Details of CHES 31
Reference: CHES 31
Title: Palatinate of Chester: Chester County Court and Court of Great Sessions of Chester: Final Concords and Recoveries Files

This series contains final concords and recoveries files from the Chester County Court and Court of Great Sessions of Chester. The early files consist entirely of feet of fines alone, without the supplementary documentation. The earliest fine dates from the 9th year of Edward I. Like those of the Common Bench and eyres from the same period they are indented, and they are similar in diplomatic content. They begin with the words 'This is the final concord made in the court of the lord king in the full county of Chester [date] before [name] then justice of Chester and [names of several knights, and sometimes others] between [names of the parties]', followed by the details of the agreement.

As with fines for ordinary counties, they usually bear the name of the county at the foot, and also sometimes carry the usual endorsements, such as statements of the laying of claims made by third parties. The second file covers only 3 years of the following reign, while the third is the first to contain any of the subsidiary documents, including original writs of covenant issued at Chester under the teste of the current justice of Chester. From the beginning of the reign of Edward III there is an apparently continuous series of files of final concords.

Until 1586 the files are for regnal years and consist entirely of fines rather than recoveries. Even after that date, when the enrolments of fines and recoveries had begun, there are no recoveries in the files. From the spring session of 1587 there is a file for each of the two sessions of the year, held in the spring and the autumn. A typical final concord filing consists of the original writ of covenant, issued in the monarch's name at Chester, followed by the concord of the fine, which was what was read in court, and the foot of fine. Where the concord was taken in the country by commissioners under a writ of dedimus potestatem, the concord is attached to the commission rather than the writ of covenant.

Recoveries finally appear in the files shortly before they were given their own series of files in 1789. They are often found near the top of a file, with the much more numerous fines at the bottom. A typical recovery filing consists of an originating writ of entry super disseisin in le post, which includes a specification of the property, and a voucher to warrant, often by commission. From the spring session of 1789 until the end of the series in 1830, there are separate files of fines and recoveries for each session, making four files a year in all until about 1800, after which there are normally two fines files for each session to only one for recoveries, the latter sometimes covering both sessions in one file.

Date: c1280-c1830
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 658 file(s)

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