Catalogue description Court of Common Pleas: Feet of Fines Files, Henry VIII - Victoria

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Details of CP 25/2
Reference: CP 25/2
Title: Court of Common Pleas: Feet of Fines Files, Henry VIII - Victoria

The later files of feet of fines, from the reign of Henry VIII to the early part of the reign of Victoria. Fines were abolished in 1834, but a few fines initiated before the abolition were completed during the period down to 1839.

Fines continued to be a means whereby conveyance of land could be carried out and recorded in the Court of Common Pleas through a fictitious suit initiated by a writ of covenant and concluded by the purchase of licence to concord; the main alternative method of doing so was, by the sixteenth century, the levying of a common recovery in the court.

The fines were largely restricted to five predominant forms, while the procedures for publicising the transactions, and other matters concerning them, were defined by the Statute of Fines 1489 (4 Hen VII, c 24).

For law terms missing from the surviving feet of fines (labelled Missing at Transfer), corresponding information may be found in CP 26/1 - CP 26/14, Notes of Fine. A contemporary series of repertories to the notes of fines, from 1509-1839 that show which feet should exist in the files for a particular county, arranged by term and then by county or city, with separate sections for joint county fines are in: IND 1/7233 - IND 1/7244 and IND 1/17217 - IND 1/17268. The foot may be filed in a later term than the note. The repertories consist of two separate series, which slightly overlap.

Another series of contemporary repertories to feet of fines from 1611 to 1834, but with substantial gaps, are in IND 1/7178- IND 1/7232. The entries were annotated in the 1850s with the numbers then being stamped on the original fines from 1735. Various antiquarian indexes and calendars to some of the earlier fines in the series, are in Le Neve's Indexes. These are not comprehensive and do not give modern references, see: IND 1/17149, IND 1/17153 - IND 1/17154, IND 1/17162 - IND 1/17163, IND 1/17174

Date: 1509-1839
Arrangement: Arrangement

The division of the feet of fines at 1509 derives entirely from the rearrangement of undertaken in the late nineteenth century, during which all the pre-Henry VIII fines were guarded and filed in modern files with red covers and placed in metal cases, and those physical arrangements made the basis of a system of references which is still used. The files in this series were not similarly put into red files, although some of the sixteenth century documents were later, in the 1920s and 1930s.

Related material:

Entry books of dates of proclamations of fines: CP 27

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English and Latin
Physical description: 51987 file(s)
Publication note:

A list of published feet of fines from 1509 onwards is available.

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