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Abstract of parliament rolls from 1330 to 1421

Reference code
Abstract of parliament rolls from 1330 to 1421
early 17th century, c. 1642.
Level of description
Extent and format
ff. v + 125.
Vellum covers, fols. i, v, formed from a bargain and sale by John Hassall of Surrey relating to lands in St Mary at Le Savoy (Strand), 15 Sept. 1685.
Scope and content
'An Abstract in the English dialect or tongue of all the Parliament Rolls in the Tower of London from the fourth yeare of Ed 3 to the Last Parliament of Henry the 5th..' (fol. 4). At fols. 5-6 is a copy of a Prolegomena, 1642, by Sir Simonds D'Ewes (1602-50). According to this the abstracts were mostly made by William Bowyer, Keeper of the Records in the Tower (d. c. 1566) and partly (abstracts of three rolls) by his son Robert (appointed to the same post, 1604), and mostly transcribed by Ralph Starkey 'a most extreeme ignorant man'. Some particulars are said to have been added by Starkey from Sir Robert Cotton's transcripts and some by D'Ewes from copies in his custody. The present manuscript appears to be a copy of Harley MS 21 (see A. G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (1966), 105, List A, no. 115; inf. Dr Colin Tite, FSA). At fols. 7-8 a 'Kalendar' of Parliament Rolls on record in 1604 and 'still kept to this day' (roll of 8 Edw. III noted as missing, fol.6). Preceding the main contents are extracts from Ordinances, 1311, forms of summons to Parliament, etc., fols. 10-16. The abstracts commence, fol. 16v, with the attainder of Roger Mortimer, and continue to the roll of 51 Edw. III, fol. 123v; later abstracts not preserved in the present volume. Written in several hands; paper and rulings vary.
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