This volume provides an edition and translation of the crown pleas, largely consisting of criminal proceedings, from the surviving roll made for the King's justices at their eyre held in Suffolk in AD 1240. Its publication completes the process of making available for the first time the earliest such roll to survive in full for Suffolk, complementing the edition of the civil pleas which the Suffolk Records Society published as its volume 52 in 2009. The latter was edited by Dr Eric Gallagher, who laid the essential foundations for the present volume. Circumstances prevented his bringing it to completion, however, and that work has therefore been undertaken by Dr Henry Summerson, who has supplied the introduction and where necessary revised the text and indexes.
Dr Gallagher writes: Much of the research for the edition was done as part of my doctoral thesis on the 1240 civil pleas, and depended on the staff of The National Archives, whom I thank for their advice and help, as I do members of the Suffolk Records Society for guidance with the county's place-names, particularly the late John Blatchly, the late Peter Northeast, David Dymond, David Butcher and Keith Briggs. I am also grateful for the support of the Institute of Historical Research, London, both for its facilities and for the help freely given by scholars attending seminars there. I am obliged, too, to Christopher Whittick and the late Lesley Boatwright for their assistance in transcribing and translating the text.
Dr Summerson adds: The realisation of this text was accomplished in difficult circumstances during the nationwide lockdown which resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. It was possible only because essential source material, unpublished and printed, was accessible through the websites of the Anglo-American Legal Tradition project (AALT) and the Institute of Historical Research respectively. My thanks go to them, and also to the British Library and the library of the Society of Antiquaries of London for access to books in the closing stages of work. I, too, am most grateful to Keith Briggs for help with place-names, as I am to Nick Bingham of The Boydell Press for essential help with the production of this book.