The accounts were originally filed at the head, which was cut off when they were re-used, so that no headings survive and they can now be dated only from internal evidence. Both edges have also been trimmed, but fortunately the left side is largely without serious depletion.
Two types of account survive, checkrolls of the household and stables (17 mm.) and journals of the household (3 mm.). The checkrolls state the name of each member in residence and the daily allowance made. Each membrane is divided vertically into columns for each day (day and date, but rarely month, stated at the head) so that the days of residence of each person can be tabulated. Horses are listed at the end, giving name and colour or kind, or else the owner and number maintained. The journals state the totals of daily expenses of each department (Hall, Pantry, Buttery, Brewery, Scullery, Saltery, Stable, Almonry).
The membranes have been placed in provisional date order and reference is given to the original order when used as backing by a number in brackets, being sequences of 1-10 for rolls A and B respectively. Acknowledgment is made to Mr. K. B. McFarlane of Oxford for his help in dating these membranes.
CHECKROLLS OF THE HOUSEHOLD AND STABLE
Two groups of accounts related by date and composition of household have been identified. The first contains a membrane (2) at the head of which part of the date including the regnal year has not been cut away and is probably 4 [Richard II]. If we can assume that this group was taken from a file of one year, the dates can be assigned to 1381.
(1) Tues. 1-31 Jan.  Roll B.10.
The alternative years on which Jan. 1 fell on Tuesday are 1376, 1381 and 1387. The presence of Walter Diss and Sir John Fernandes puts it before 1387 and their appearance on the following roll also confirms 1381 as the probable date.
(2) Mon. 1-21 [April, 1381] 4 [Ric. II, 1381]. Roll A.8.
The knights listed here are mainly also on the roll above suggesting a near date.
(3) Tues. 4-Sun. 30 [June 1381]. Roll A.5.
This membrane has been shorn on the left so that few names survive. Those which do are related to this group.
(4) Mon. 1-31 [July 1381]. Roll A.7.
Mentions the Countess of Pembroke. Lancaster's daughter Elizabeth married John, Earl of Pembroke, on 24 Jan. 1380 and the marriage was dissolved on 24 Feb. 1383.
(5) Sun. 1-[? Sept. or Dec. 1381]. Roll B.5.
Has the same knights as the previous rolls.
The second group, also associated by similar membership, are dated by their relationship with (9) which because it has a column for 29th Feb., is securely dated, being a leap year with 29th Feb. on a Thursday, as 1392. Dates between 1391 and 1394 are alternatives for all the 12 membranes in this group and further internal evidence set out below confirms this dating.
(6) Wed. 1.-[29 or after, Mar. or Nov. 1391]. Roll B.6.
Mentions Dame Katherine Swynford and her four children by John of Gaunt, John, Henry, Jane [Joan] and Thomas Beaufort. In March 1392 Jane married Sir Robert Ferrers, [2nd] Baron Ferrers of Wemme, co. Salop, and appears in these accounts subsequently as Jane Ferrers. Her husband was also a member of the household. Sir John Deincourt, member of the household, died in 1393.
(7) Mon. 1-31 [Aug. 1390, May 1391 or Jan. 1392]. Roll A.9.
This roll contains the name Jane Beaufort and is therefore prior to Mar. 1392.
(8) Thurs. 1-23 Feb. . Roll B.4.
The presence of Sir John Deincourt makes later alternative dates impossible while Thomas Chaucer and John Kenningham make earlier ones unlikely.
Though the month is not stated in the heading, there is this entry opposite the name of Roger Trumpyngton: 'Md. quod dictus Rogerus allocatus pro vadio predicto a primo die Februarii usque xvij die eiusdem mense utroque die eque pro xvij dies per diem vij.d. ob.'
(9) Fri. 1 -4 Dec., Mon. 15 - 22 Jan., Sun. 11 - 15 Feb. [1391/2]. Roll B.9.
In this roll the months are named. The fact that it overlaps part of (8) in date and that those marked absent here were present in the former roll indicates this as the checkroll of another place. Sir John Deincourt was shown as absent in (8) from 11 Feb. onwards, while in this roll his presence commences at this date.
(10) Fri. 23 [Feb.]-Sat. 30 [Mar. 1392]. Roll B.1.
This roll is securely dated by the occurrence of leap year, containing Thurs. 29 Feb. within its period. It thus follows consecutively upon (8) and comparison with the entries for 22 Feb. in that roll confirm the connection. The entries for 23 Feb. in (8) are few and misleading. Sir John Deincourt is mentioned but the allowances for horses are not entered and thus the names of the family in residence are not given.
(11) [Days cut away at top, before Mar. 1392]. Roll A.1.
Sir John Deincourt and Jane Beaufort both mentioned.
(12) [Days mutilated, between Mar. 1392-1393]. Roll A.2.
Sir John Deincourt and Jane Ferrers both mentioned. For the change in style of the latter see note on (6) above.
(13) Mon. 1-31, Thurs. 1-8 [July-Aug. 1392 or Dec. 1393-Jan. 1394]. Roll A4.
Although the knights' names have been cut away, Jane Ferrers appears on the reverse, dating the roll after Mar. 1392. Between the two alternative dates remaining no decision has been reached.
(14) [Days cut away, after Mar. 1392]. Roll A.6.
Jane Ferrers mentioned; knights' names cut away.
(15) Sat. 1-30 Nov. . Roll B.7.
Names cut away. Endorsed: William Eyr[myn], Treasurer. On stylistic grounds this and the two succeeding rolls are assigned to the post-1390 group.
(16) [Sun. 1]-Sat. 28 [Feb.], Sun. 1-[?, Mar. 1394]. Roll B.8.
Names cut away, but as Sat. 28 is called 'ult.' it is clearly February and the alternatives are not really probable.
(17) Fri. 13-Mon. 30 (ult.) [Nov. 1394]. Roll A.3.
Names cut away. Sept. 1392 or Apr. 1393 are possible alternatives.
JOURNAL OF THE HOUSEHOLD
(18) Sun. 5-19 July . Roll B.3. At Kenilworth.
(19) Mon. 20 July-1 Aug. . Roll A.10. At Kenilworth.
Against the entry for Sat. 25 July it is noted: 'Isto die recessit domina Regina de Kenill' usque Tutbury cum parte familie.' The queen is Constance, Queen of Castile, whom John of Gaunt married in 1372.
(20) Sun. 30 Aug.-6 Sept. . Roll B.2.
The household moves to Banbury, to Henley, to Maidenhead and finally to Westminster during the period of this account. Reference to the lord's daughter Katherine at Kenilworth at the commencement rules out the alternative dates of 1388 and 1394, as she was married to John of Castile in 1387 and presumably went to Spain in this year. Apparently all three rolls form part of the journal for the half-year ending Michaelmas 1383.
(G.E.C. Complete Peerage, X, pp. 395, 396.)