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Law, Legislation, and Consent in the Plantagenet Empire: Wales and Ireland, 1272–1461

  • Gwilym Dodd


In recent years, scholars have begun to look afresh at the dynamics of English “imperial” power in the late medieval period, but the extent to which the English dominions were subject to English law and legislation––and the questions of why and how these influences varied between the regions and over an extended period of time––have been considered less systematically and rarely comparatively. With its focus on Wales and Ireland, this article explores the synergies and the strains that shaped attitudes towards the authority of the late medieval English crown and that ultimately determined the extent of England's influence beyond its borders. The article shows that these attitudes were often fundamentally conflicted and contradictory. It highlights the difficulties of the English crown in seeking to balance the elitist agenda of its English subjects, on the one hand, with its desire to bring the Welsh and Irish more squarely within the orbit of the English state system, on the other hand. And it shows how the dominions veered between welcoming and resisting the interference of the English crown. The discussion emphasizes how interaction between the English crown and the people of its dominions was shaped above all by dialogue and negotiation.



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1 For the best overviews, see Davies, Rees, “The English State and the ‘Celtic’ Peoples, 1100–1400,” Journal of Historical Sociology 6, no. 1 (March 1993): 114 ; and idem, The Peoples of Britain and Ireland, 1100–1400, III, Laws and Customs,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 6 (1996): 123 .

2 See “The Implications of Devolution for England: Presented to Parliament by the First Secretary of State and Leader of the House of Commons by Command of Her Majesty,” December 2014,

3 For useful discussion of the term, see Crooks, Peter, Green, David, and Ormrod, W. Mark, “Introduction: The Plantagenets and Empire in the Late Middle Ages,” in The Plantagenet Empire, 1259–1453: Proceedings of the 2014 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. Crooks, Peter, Green, David, and Ormrod, W. Mark (Donington, 2016), 134 .

4 See, in particular, Harding, Alan, Medieval Law and the Foundations of the State (Oxford, 2002), chaps. 5–7. At various points this superiority was explicitly articulated, for which see Sweetman, H. S., ed., Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland, Preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, London, 1252–1284 (London, 1877), no. 1408; Statutes of the Realm, 11 vols. (London, 1810–28), 1:55(i); and Stones, E. L. G., ed., Anglo-Scottish Relations, 1174–1328: Some Selected Documents (Edinburgh, 1965), 126 .

5 Davies, R. R., The First English Empire: Power and Identities in the British Isles, 1093–1343 (Oxford, 2000), 113–41.

6 Labarge, Margaret Wade, Gascony: England's First Colony, 1204–1453 (London, 1980), 5167 ; Green, David, “Lordship and Principality: Colonial Policy in Ireland and Aquitaine in the 1360s,” Journal of British Studies 47, no. 1 (January 2008): 329 ; Ruddick, Andrea C., “Gascony and the Limits of Medieval British Isles History,” in Ireland and the English World in the Late Middle Ages, ed. Smith, Brendan (Basingstoke, 2009), 6888 , at 78; eadem, English Identity and Political Culture in the Fourteenth Century (Cambridge, 2013), 219–20. Gascons still looked to the king of England to arbitrate in local disputes, for which see Gwilym Dodd, “Petitions from the King's Dominions: Wales, Ireland and Gascony, c. 1290–c. 1350,” in Crooks, Green, and Ormrod, eds., Plantagenet Empire, 187–215, esp. 201–11.

7 Given-Wilson, Chris et al. , eds., Parliament Rolls of Medieval England (Leicester, 2005), CD version, Edward I, Roll 12, item 430 (400) (hereafter PROME). For discussion, see Barrow, G. W. S., Kingship and Unity: Scotland, 1000–1306 (London, 1981), 138 ; Neville, Cynthia J., Land, Law and People in Medieval Scotland (Edinburgh, 2010), 167–69.

8 PROME, Edward I, Roll 12, item 288 (276); quote from Edward I, Petition 3, no. 71. For background, see Dickinson, William Croft, “Surdit de Sergaunt,” Scottish Historical Review 39, no. 128 (October 1960): 170–75; and MacQueen, Hector L., “The Laws of Galloway: A Preliminary Survey,” in Galloway: Land and Lordship, ed. Oram, Richard D. and Stell, Geoffrey P. (Edinburgh, 1991), 131–43.

9 PROME, Edward I, Petition 3, no. 71.

10 Barrow, G. W. S., Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1965), 418–19. For general discussion, see Sellar, W. David H., “The Common Law of Scotland and the Common Law of England,” in The British Isles, 1100–1500: Comparisons, Contrasts and Connections, ed. Davies, R. R. (Edinburgh, 1988), 8299 ; MacQueen, Hector L., Common Law and Feudal Society in Medieval Scotland (Edinburgh, 1993), 526 ; Davies, First English Empire, 157–58, 160–61.

11 Brand, Paul, “An English Legal Historian Looks at the Statute of Wales,” Welsh Legal History Society 3 (2003): 2056 , at 26–27.

12 Ibid., 34–35.

13 Smith, Llinos Beverley, “The Statute of Wales, 1284,” Welsh History Review 10, no. 2 (December 1980): 127–54, at 144–52; Brand, “English Legal Historian,” 48.

14 This contrasted with the period before the conquest of 1282, for which see Davies, R. R., “Law and National Identity in Thirteenth-Century Wales,” in Welsh Society and Nationhood: Historical Essays Presented to Glanmor Williams, ed. Davies, R. R., Griffiths, R. A., Jones, I. G., and Morgan, K. O. (Cardiff, 1984), 5169 , at 59–68.

15 Frame, Robin, “The Immediate Effect and Interpretation of the 1331 Ordinance ‘una et eadem lex’: Some New Evidence,” Irish Jurist, n.s. 7 (Summer 1972): 109–14.

16 Rees, William, ed., Calendar of Ancient Petitions Relating to Wales (Cardiff, 1975), 107 (hereafter CAPW). The original document is The National Archives (hereafter TNA), SC 8/74/3694.

17 Ibid.

18 CAPW, 130–31 (TNA, SC 8/89/4437).

19 Ibid.

20 CAPW, 172 (TNA, SC 8/109/5433).

21 Ibid.

22 CAPW, 282–85 (TNA, SC 8/167/8348).

23 CAPW, 174 (TNA, SC 8/110/5455); Calendar of Chancery Warrants Preserved in the Public Record Office, vol. 1, A.D. 1244–1326 (London, 1927), 306–7; Beverley Smith, “Statute of Wales,” 136–37, 142–44; Smith, J. Beverley, “Edward II and Allegiance of Wales,” Welsh History Review 8, no. 2 (December 1976): 139–71, at 144n23; Brand, “English Legal Historian,” 42–45.

24 The effects of partible inheritance are illustrated by Brown, M. H., “Kinship, Land, and Law in Fourteenth-Century Wales: The Kindred of Iorwerth ap Cadwgan,” Welsh History Review 17, no. 4 (December 1995): 493517 .

25 Ellis, Henry, ed., Registrum Vulgariter Nuncupatum “The Record of Caernarvon” (London, 1838), 214–15.

26 Thomas Rymer, ed., Foedera, conventions, litterae et cujuscunque generis acta publica, 10 vols. in 40 parts (The Hague, 1739–45), 2:i.283–84; Calendar of Patent Rolls (CPR), 1313–17, 433–34; Beverley Smith, “Edward II,” 150–51.

27 CAPW, 99 (TNA, SC 8/64/3179). See also TNA, SC 8/110/5462 (1322), the fourth demand.

28 CAPW, 99 (TNA, SC 8/64/3179).

29 Smith, J. Beverley, “Crown and Community in the Principality of North Wales in the Reign of Henry Tudor,” Welsh History Review 3, no. 4 (December 1967): 145–71, at 148.

30 Davies, R. R., Conquest, Coexistence, and Change, 1063–1415 (Oxford, 1987), 433 .

31 Davies, Rees, “Race Relations in Post-Conquest Wales: Confrontation and Compromise,” Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (1974–75): 3256 , at 39–43; Smith, J. Beverley, “‘Distinction and Diversity’: the Common Lawyers and the Law of Wales,” in Power and Identity in the Middle Ages: Essays in Memory of Rees Davies, ed. Pryce, Huw and Watts, John (Oxford, 2007), 139–52, at 143–44; Stevens, Matthew Frank, Urban Assimilation in Post-Conquest Wales: Ethnicity, Gender and Economy in Ruthin, 1282–1348 (Cardiff, 2010), 3839 .

32 Pollock, Frederick and Maitland, Frederick, The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1898), 2:270–73; Du Boulay, F. R. H., “Gavelkind and Knight's Fee in Medieval Kent,” English Historical Review 77, no. 304 (July 1962): 504–11; Thornton, Tim, “Fifteenth-Century Durham and the Problem of Provincial Liberties in England and the Wider Territories of the English Crown,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser., 11 (2001): 83100 . See also Somerville, Robert, “The Palatinate Courts in Lancashire,” in Law-Making and Law-Makers in British History: Papers Presented to the Edinburgh Legal History Conference, 1977, ed. Harding, Alan (London, 1977), 5463 ; and Thornton, Tim, Cheshire and the Tudor State, 1480–1560 (Woodbridge, 2000), 143–50.

33 See Crooks, Peter, “State of the Union: Perspectives on English Imperialism in the Late Middle Ages,” Past and Present 212, no. 1 (August 2011): 342 , at 8–16.

34 Davies, James Conway, ed., The Welsh Assize Roll, 1277–84 (Cardiff, 1940), 266 . See also Edwards, J. Goronwy, ed., Calendar of Ancient Correspondence Concerning Wales (Cardiff, 1935), 7273 (xvi, 102). For discussion, see Smith, J. Beverley, “England and Wales: The Conflict of Laws,” in Proceedings of the Durham Conference, 1997, Thirteenth Century English 7, ed. Prestwich, Michael, Britnell, Richard, and Frame, Robin (Woodbridge, 1999), 189205 , at 193–94.

35 For background, see Davies, Conquest, Coexistence, and Change, chap. 10; and Beverley Smith, “‘Distinction and Diversity,’” 146–47.

36 Clause 56 specified: “And if a dispute arises… it shall be settled … for tenements in England according to the law of England, for tenements in Wales according to the law of Wales, for tenements in the March according to the law of the March.” Carpenter, David, Magna Carta (London, 2015), 61 . Its omission did not indicate any royal challenge to Welsh Marcher legal autonomy, but reflected the changed circumstances of Anglo-Welsh relations and the fact that the clauses of 1215 arose from specific political and diplomatic conditions that no longer pertained under Henry III. See also Smith, J. Beverley, “Magna Carta and the Charters of the Welsh Princes,” English Historical Review 99, no. 391 (April 1984): 344–62.

37 Collas, John P. and Plucknett, Theodore F. T., eds., Year Books of Edward II, Vol. 24: 12 Edward II (Hilary and part of Easter 1319), Selden Society Publications 70 (London, 1953), 48 , discussed in J. Beverley Smith, “The Legal Position of Wales in the Middle Ages,” in Harding, ed., Law-Making and Law-Makers, 21–53, at 43–45.

38 Compare Davies, R. R., “The Law of the March,” Welsh History Review 5, no. 1 (June, 1970): 130 , at 9.

39 Griffiths, Ralph A., “The English Realm and Dominions and the King's Subjects in the Later Middle Ages,” in Aspects of Late Medieval Government and Society: Essays Presented to J. R. Lander, ed. Rowe, J. G. (Toronto, 1986), 83105 ; Smith, “Legal Position of Wales,” 45–46.

40 Statutes of the Realm, 1:150.

41 Smith, “Legal Position of Wales,” 23–28, 34.

42 Dodd, “Petitions,” 189–201; Thornton, Cheshire and the Tudor State, 103–18; Fraser, C. M., ed., Northern Petitions Illustrative of Life in Berwick, Cumbria and Durham in the Fourteenth Century, Surtees Society 194 (Gateshead, 1981), 158275 .

43 Beverley Smith, “Edward II,” 161–67.

44 Griffiths, “English Realm and Dominions,” 36; Ruddick, Andrea, “Ethnic Identity and Political Language in the King of England's Dominions: A Fourteenth-Century Perspective,” in The Fifteenth Century, vol. 6, Identity and Insurgency in the Late Middle Ages, ed. Clark, Linda (Woodbridge, 2006), 1531 , at 18–21.

45 For the separation of England, and the English, from the rest of the king's dominions, see Ruddick, English Identity, 63, 184–85, 221–25.

46 Fryde, Natalie, “Councils and Consent in Medieval Wales, c. 1200–1327,” in Album François Dumont: Studies Presented to the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions 60 (Brussels, 1977), 4160 , Appendix. For comparisons, see Campbell, Bruce M. S., “Benchmarking Medieval Economic Development: England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, c. 1290,” Economic History Review, n.s., 61, no. 4 (November 2008): 896945 . For general discussion of taxation in the king's dominions, see Joseph R. Strayer and Rudisill, George Jr., “Taxation and Community in Wales and Ireland, 1272–1327,” Speculum 29, no. 2, part 2 (April 1954): 410–16; Thornton, Tim, “Taxing the King's Dominions: The Subject Territories of the English Crown in the Late Middle Ages,” in Crises, Revolution and Self-Sustained Growth: Essays in European Fiscal History, 1130–1830, ed. Ormrod, W. Mark, Bonney, Margaret, and Bonney, Richard (Stamford, 1999), 97109 ; and Ormrod, W. Mark, “The English State and the Plantagenet Empire, 1259–1360: A Fiscal Perspective,” in The Medieval State: Essays Presented to James Campbell, ed. Maddicott, J. R. and Palliser, D. M. (London, 2000), 197214 .

47 Davies, First English Empire, 93.

48 See Davies, R. R., The Revolt of Owain Glyn Dŵr (Oxford, 1995), 5057 ; Davies, First English Empire, 185–86.

49 Davies, First English Empire, chaps. 4 and 5; Davies, Conquest, Coexistence and Change, 369–73, 419–21. Although subjects of the king of England, the Welsh, like the native Irish and Gascons, were regarded as foreigners, requiring denization to enjoy the status and privileges of English-born subjects. Denization for a Welshman meant being given the right to acquire lands in England and in the English boroughs in Wales. Beverley Smith, “‘Distinction and Diversity,’” 144–45.

50 Davies, R. R., “Colonial Wales,” Past and Present 65, no. 1 (November 1974): 323 .

51 Bowen, Lloyd, “Wales at Westminster: Parliament, Principality and Pressure Groups, 1542–1601,” Parliamentary History 22, no. 2 (June 2003): 107–20.

52 Statutes of the Realm, 3, part 2, 926(i).

53 G. R. Elton, “Wales in Parliament, 1542–81,” in idem, Studies in Tudor and Stuart Politics and Government, vol. 4, Papers and Reviews 1982–1990 (Cambridge, 1992), 91108 , at 94–95; Williams, Glanmor, Recovery, Reorientation and Reformation: Wales, c. 1415–1642 (Oxford, 1987), 267 ; idem, Wales and the Act of Union (Bangor, 1992), 2627 .

54 PROME, parliament of 1401, items 15, 16, 77, 102, 105–107; parliament of 1402, items 87–102; Statutes of the Realm, 2:124, 129 (xii, xvii, xix–xx), 140–41(xxvi–xxxiv).

55 Rees, William, “The Charters of the Boroughs of Brecon and Llandovery,” Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 2, no. 3 (1923–25): 243–61, at 251.

56 Williams, Recovery, Reorientation and Reformation, 11–14.

57 PROME, parliament of 1431, item 32, parliament of 1445, item 26, parliament of 1447, item 23; Statutes of the Realm, 2:264(iii), 344(i).

58 Smith, “Crown and Community,” 169.

59 PROME, parliament of 1445, item 26. See also PROME, parliament of 1447, item 23 (the original petition is TNA, SC 8/27/1336, printed in CAPW, 38–39).

60 PROME, parliament of 1445, item 26.

61 This was also a view expressed by the Commons in 1401. PROME, parliament of 1401, item 15.

62 Ellis, “Record of Caernarvon,” 131–32.

63 Davies, “Colonial Wales,” 3–23; Owen, D. Huw, “The Englishry of Denbigh: An English Colony in Medieval Wales,” Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (1975): 5776 ; Jack, R. I., “Welsh and English in the Medieval Lordship of Ruthin,” Transactions of the Denbighshire Historical Society 18 (1969): 2349 ; Barrell, A. D. M. and Brown, M. H., “A Settler Community in Post-Conquest Rural Wales: The English of Dyffryn Clwyd, 1294–1399,” Welsh History Review 17, no. 3 (June 1995): 332–55.

64 Roberts, Glyn, “Wales and England: Antipathy and Sympathy, 1282–1485,” Welsh History Review 1, no. 4 (1963): 375–96.

65 Otway-Ruthven, Jocelyn, “The Native Irish and English Law in Medieval Ireland,” Irish Historical Studies 7, no. 25 (March 1950): 116 ; Hand, G. J., English Law in Ireland, 1290–1324 (Cambridge, 1967), chap. 10.

66 Sweetman, Documents Relating to Ireland, 1252–84, no. 1408; Otway-Ruthven, Jocelyn, “The Request of the Irish for English Law, 1277–80,” Irish Historical Studies 6, no. 24 (September 1949): 261–69; Gwynn, Aubrey, “Edward I and the Proposed Purchase of English Law for the Irish, c. 1276–80,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th ser., 10 (1960): 111–27, at 123; Phillips, Seymour, “David MacCarwell and the Proposal to Purchase English Law, c. 1273–c. 1280,” Peritia 10 (1996): 253–73.

67 Phillips, “David MacCarwell,” 266–73.

68 O'Byrne, Emmett, “The Politics of Grievance and the Making of Medieval Irish Identity: Blood, Law and Identity in Leinster and the Crown of England, 1200–1340,” in The March in the Islands of the Medieval West, ed. Ghrádaigh, Jenifer Ní and O'Byrne, Emmett (Leiden, 2012), 229–49, at 237–38, 244–49. For the ordinance of 1331, which was agreed to at the parliament held at Westminster in September 1331, see Berry, Henry F., ed. Statutes and Ordinances and Acts of the Parliament of Ireland, King John to Henry V (Dublin, 1907), 324–35 (item III).

69 Niocaill, Gearóid Mac, ed., Na Buirgéisí, XII–XV Aois, 2 vols. (Cló Morainn, 1964), 2:336n21, discussed—and dated to 1331—by Hand, G. J., “English Law in Ireland, 1172–1351,” Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 23, no. 4 (Winter 1972): 393422 , at 413–14. It is possible that this representation had been made in the reign of Edward II: Calendar of Close Rolls (hereafter CCR), 1313–18, 405.

70 However, for the limited application of the statute, see Frame, “Immediate Effect,” 110–12; and for its limited impact, see Bryan Murphy, “The Status of the Native Irish after 1331,” Irish Jurist, n.s., 2 (1967): 116–28, at 122–23, 126–27; and O'Byrne, “Politics of Grievance,” 246–47.

71 Lydon, James, “Ireland and the English Crown, 1171–1541,” Irish Historical Studies 29, no. 115 (May 1995): 281–94, at 286.

72 Johnston, Dorothy, “Richard II and the Submissions of Gaelic Ireland,” Irish Historical Studies 22, no. 85 (March 1980): 120 .

73 Johnson, Dorothy, “The Interim Years: Richard II and Ireland, 1395–1399,” in England and Ireland in the Later Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of Jocelyn Otway-Ruthven, ed. Lydon, James (Blackrock, 1981), 175–95. On the rising hostility toward the Irish in the fourteenth century, see Frame, Robin, “‘Les Engleys nées en Irlande’: The English Political Identity in Medieval Ireland,” in Ireland and Britain, 1170–1450, ed. Frame, Robin (London, 1998), 131–50.

74 Sweetman, Documents Relating to Ireland, 1252–1284, no. 1681. See Otway-Ruthven, “Request of the Irish,” 264.

75 Murphy, “Status of the Native Irish,” 123.

76 For background, see McGrath, Gerard, “The Shiring of Ireland and the 1297 Parliament,” in Law and Disorder in Thirteenth-Century Ireland: The Dublin Parliament of 1297, ed. Lydon, James (Dublin, 1997), 107–24.

77 Statutes of the Realm, 1:363. For background, see Frame, “‘Les Engleys nées en Irlande,’” 147; and Frame, Robin, “Exporting State and Nation: Being English in Medieval Ireland,” in Power and the Nation in European History, ed. Scales, Len and Zimmer, Oliver (Cambridge, 2005), 143–65.

78 TNA, SC 8/53/2643, printed in Documents on the Affairs of Ireland Before the King's Council, ed. Sayles, G. O. (Dublin, 1979), 4445 .

79 Hand, Geoffrey J., “Procedure without Writ in the Court of the Justiciar of Ireland,” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 62 (1961–1963): 920 ; CCR, 1296–1302, 22. In fact, discontent in Ireland with the use of procedure by bill preceded Wogan's appointment as justiciar. Sayles, G. O., ed., Select Cases in the Court of King's Bench under Edward II, Vol. 4, Selden Society Publications 74 (London, 1957), lxxxi, lxxin2.

80 In 1305, the justiciar's court ruled that the king (i.e., Edward I) had not yet granted to the men of this land [i.e., Ireland] the liberties contained in the Great Charter.Mills, James, ed., Calendar of Justiciary Rolls, Ireland: 1305–1307 (Dublin, 1914), 158 .

81 Richardson, H. G. and Sayles, G. O., “The Irish Parliaments of Edward I,” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 38 (1928–29): 128–47, at 131–32; Richardson, H. G. and Sayles, G. O., The Irish Parliament in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia, 1952), 6970 , 76–78.

82 Representatives were present in the parliament of 1320, 1324, two Great Councils of 1351 and the parliament at Kilkenny in 1366 when major legislation was enacted. Richardson and Sayles, Irish Parliament, 77; Statutes and Ordinances, 280–90, 306–9, 374–96, 430–68.

83 Cormac Ó. Cléirigh, “The Problems of Defence: A Regional Case-Study,” in Lydon, ed., Law and Disorder, 25–56. The texts of the statutes are printed in Lydon, ed., Law and Disorder, 148–61.

84 Ibid., 159.

85 Statutes and Ordinances, 431–69 (items ii and iii). For the most recent discussion and context for this legislation see Green, David, “The Statute of Kilkenny (1366): Legislation and the State,” Journal of Historical Sociology 27, no. 2 (June 2014): 236–62.

86 Statutes and Ordinances, 437.

87 Davies, R. R., “The Failure of the First British Empire? England's Relations with Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 1066–1500,” in England in Europe, 1066–1453, ed. Saul, Nigel (London, 1994), 121–32; Brendan Smith, “Lordship in the British Isles, c.1320–c.1360: The Ebb Tide of the English Empire?,” in Price and Watts, eds., Power and Identity, 153–63.

88 Richardson and Sayles, “Irish Parliaments,” 133.

89 Dodd, “Petitions from the King's Dominions,” 206–7.

90 Ibid. See also Connolly, Philomena, ed., “Irish Material in the Class of Ancient Petitions (SC 8) in the Public Record Office,” Analecta Hibernica 34 (1987): 1106 ; and Hartland, Beth, “Edward I and Petitions Relating to Ireland,” in Proceedings of the Durham Conference, 2001, Thirteenth Century England 9, ed. Prestwich, Michael, Britnell, Richard, and Frame, Robin (Woodbridge, 2004), 5970 .

91 Statutes and Ordinances, 190–95.

92 Ibid., 293–95.

93 Ibid., 310–13.

94 Ibid., 314–21.

95 Ibid., 322–29; and Frame, Robin, English Lordship in Ireland, 1318–1361 (Oxford, 1982), 196–97.

96 CCR, 1333–37, 579. For the ordinances, see TNA, C 49/6/30. For discussion, see Frame, English Lordship, 232–35.

97 Statutes and Ordinances, 408–19; Statutes of the Realm, 1:357–64. For discussion, see Frame, English Lordship, 318–19.

98 Statutes and Ordinances, 422–29; Frame, English Lordship, 319–25.

99 Statutes and Ordinances, 470–71.

100 Statutes and Ordinances, 36–39, 40–45, 46–85, 86–101, 101–3, 104–77, 254–57, 241–43, 298–99, 300–53. For general discussion, see Hand, English Law in Ireland, 161–71. For the Statute of Mortmain, see Brand, Paul A., “King, Church and Property: The Enforcement of Restrictions on Alienation in Mortmain in the Lordship of Ireland in the Middle Ages,” Peritia 3 (1984): 481502 .

101 Statutes and Ordinances, 245. See Lydon, “Ireland and the English Crown,” 283.

102 See Richardson and Sayles, Irish Parliament, 147–48, 225–26.

103 Statutes of the Realm, 1:251–55, 257–61, 261–65, 265–69.

104 PROME, parliament of January 1327, C 65/1. Lists of common petitions for the remaining assemblies no longer exist, though it is highly likely that they were presented: see introductions to PROME, parliament of 1328, parliament of November 1330 and parliament of September 1331.

105 Richardson and Sayles, Irish Parliament, 92.

106 Statutes and Ordinances, 283.

107 For the following references I have benefited from consultation of Alfred Gaston Donaldson, “The Application in Ireland of English Law and British Legislations Made before 1801” (PhD diss., Queen's University Belfast, 1952).

108 1337 (export of wool): Statutes of the Realm, 1:280–81; 1353 (red and white wine): Statutes of the Realm, 1:331(viii), though evidence for its transmission to Ireland dates to 1385 (Statutes and Ordinances, 589); 1353 (staple): Statutes of the Realm, 1:332–44; 1369 (staple): Statutes of the Realm, 1:390(i); November 1380 (wine): Statutes of the Realm, 2:16(i); November 1390 (wool; staple; merchants): Statutes of the Realm, 2:76–77(i–x); September 1397 (staple): Statutes of the Realm, 2:108(xvii). For fifteenth-century legislation relating to the staple, see Donaldson, “Application in Ireland,” 137–38.

109 Statutes of the Realm, 1:307–8; Statutes and Ordinances, 366–73. The legislation was extended to Ireland by writ. Donaldson, “Application in Ireland,” 100.

110 There is a note indicating that the legislation passed by the Westminster parliament of 1352 (including, notably, the Statute of Treasons) was to be sent to the justiciar of Ireland for enactment. Statutes of the Realm, 1:324. See also PROME, parliament of 1352, Appendix (1).

111 The legislation of 1362 (including a series of important regulations on purveyance and the Statute of Pleading) was conveyed to Ireland by writ in November 1363. Statutes of the Realm, 1:371–76; and CCR, 1360–64, 494. See Donaldson, “Application in Ireland,” 101–102.

112 Donaldson, “Application in Ireland,” 143–44.

113 Statutes of the Realm, 2:178–81(vi).

114 Frame, English Lordship, 242–61.

115 Statutes and Ordinances, 332–63.

116 CCR, 1341–3, 508–16; Statutes and Ordinances, 345.

117 The episode has been discussed most recently by Crooks, Peter, “Negotiating Authority in a Colonial Capital: Dublin and the Windsor Crisis, 1369–78,” in Proceedings of the Friends of Medieval Dublin Symposium, 2007, Medieval Dublin 9, ed. Duffy, Seán (Dublin, 2009), 131–51, at 136–37; and idem, Representation and Dissent: ‘Parliamentarianism’ and the Structure of Politics in Colonial Ireland, c. 1370–1420,” English Historical Review 125, no. 512 (February 2010): 134 , at 18–19, 28.

118 Leland, Thomas, The History of Ireland from the Invasion of Henry II, 2nd ed., 3 vols. (Dublin, 1814), 1:376.

119 TNA, SC 8/118/5900 (full transcription in Richardson and Sayles, Parliaments and Councils of Medieval Ireland, 1:205–6). The “statute” was not in fact enacted on the statute roll (Statutes of the Realm, 2:13–15): it was enrolled as an answer to a petition. PROME, parliament of January 1380, item 42.

120 TNA, SC8/1187/5900.

121 Hemmant, M., ed., Select Cases in the Exchequer Chamber before All the Justices of England, 1377–1461, 51 (1933), 8283 (my emphasis).

122 Berry, Henry F., ed., Statute Rolls of the Parliament of Ireland, Reign of King Henry the Sixth (Dublin, 1910), 644–46. For context, see Cosgrove, Art, “Parliament and the Anglo-Irish Community: The Declaration of 1460,” in Parliament and Community: Papers Read before the Irish Conference of Historians, Dublin 27–30 May 1981, Historical Studies 14, ed. Cosgrove, Art and McGuire, J. I. (Belfast, 1983), 2541 ; Lydon, James, “‘Ireland Corporate of Itself’: The Parliament of 1460,” History Ireland 3, no. 2 (Summer 1995): 912 . In 1423 the chancellor and treasurer of Ireland declared that English statutes were applicable to Ireland only if they had been considered by the Irish parliament. Frame, “Les Engleys nées en Irlande,” 146.

123 Cosgrove, “Parliament and the Anglo-Irish Community,” 31.

124 There is discussion of this episode by E. A. E. Matthew, “The Governing of the Lancastrian Lordship of Ireland in the time of James Butler, Fourth Earl of Ormond, c. 1420–1452” (PhD diss., University of Durham, 1994), 388–89.

125 For Ormond's career, see Elizabeth Matthew, s.v., “Butler, James, Fourth Earl of Ormond (1390–1452),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,, accessed September 2015.

126 For Talbot's career, see Elizabeth Matthew, s.v., “Talbot, Richard (d. 1449),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,, accessed September 2015.

127 Griffith, Margaret C., “The Talbot–Ormond Struggle for Control of the Anglo-Irish Government, 1414–47,” Irish Historical Studies 2, no. 8 (September 1941): 376–97.

128 CCR, 1441–47, 104.

129 CPR, 1441–46, 352–53, 410, 495.

130 TNA, C 1/13/226; calendared and summarized in Dryburgh, Paul and Smith, Brendan, eds., Handbook and Select Calendar of Sources for Medieval Ireland in the National Archives of the United Kingdom (Dublin, 2005), 125 .

131 TNA, C 1/13/227; summarized in Dryburgh and Smith, Handbook and Select Calendar, 126.

132 Ibid.

133 Statute Rolls of the Parliament of Ireland, Reign of King Henry the Sixth, 66–71, 78–79.

134 Crooks, “State of the Union,” 13–16; Seymour Phillips, “Royal Authority and Its Limits: The Dominions of the English Crown in the Early Fourteenth Century,” in March in the Islands, ed. Ní Ghrádaigh and O'Byrne, 251–60, at 257–58.

135 Note Frame's opinion that the English justiciars appointed between 1318 and 1361 “belonged emphatically to the second division.” Frame, English Lordship, 89.

136 Elliott, J. H., “A Europe of Composite Monarchies,” Past and Present 137, no. 1 (November 1992): 4871 ; Crooks, “State of the Union.” There is also useful discussion of the decentralized nature of English royal authority in Ellis, Steven, “Crown, Community and Government in the English Territories, 1450–1575,” History 71, no. 232 (June 1986): 187204 , at 188–89.

137 With the exception of the period of Owain Glyn Dŵr's revolt, for which see Davies, Revolt of Owain Glyn Dŵr, 164–66.

138 Griffiths, “English Realm and Dominions,” 33–53.

139 Ruddick, English Identity, chap. 5.

140 CAPW; Connolly, “Irish Material”; Hartland, “Edward I,” 59–70; Pépin, Guilhem, “Petitions from Gascony: Testimonies of a Special Relationship,” in Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance, ed. Ormrod, W. Mark, Dodd, Gwilym, and Musson, Anthony (Woodbridge, 2009), 120–34; Dodd, “Petitions from the King's Dominions,” 187–215.

141 PROME, Edward I, Roll 12 (item 14(13)).

142 Davies, First English Empire, 24–25.

143 Ormrod, “English State,” 204–5, 211–12.

144 Though see Curtiss, Edmund, Richard II in Ireland (Oxford, 1927), 5859 .

145 For anti-alien common petitions see, for example, PROME, parliament of 1433, items 46, 51, and 52.

Law, Legislation, and Consent in the Plantagenet Empire: Wales and Ireland, 1272–1461

  • Gwilym Dodd


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