Robin Hood Candidates
Shield of Robert-de-Wadsley
Found by Rob Lynley and David Pilling in the "Public Records Office" is this pardon that reads, "Robert Hode (Hood) otherwise known as Robert Dore of Wadsley (West Riding) given the King`s pardon on 22nd May 1382." He was a 'litser' of York and was involved in the municipal riots in York in 1380 between Simon de Quixley and John of Gisburne. Robert Hode took Quixley's side and was outlawed for a time and locked up with others in a city prison tower. The Wadsley family held Loxley Chase and Loxley Common.
This was the time of the “Peasant’s Revolt” and the “Poll Tax Riots” when the leaders used code-names to protect their identity. John Ball was "Johon Schep" or "Jak Chep"; Wat Tyler was known simply as “Tyler”; Jack Straw was “Rakstrawe” or “Hob Carter”; there was also Erle of the Plo, "Per Plowman," and more. John Ball told the leaders in London to permit Piers Plowman to do his work which was to chastise well "Hobbe the Robbere" i.e. the King or his Chancellor the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church generally and the “Pole Tax” in particular were so unpopular that the people rioted.
If Robert Hode’s only clash with the law was during the Poll Tax Riots then this man is too late to be the Robin Hood of legend. However people were known by their surname and also by the place where they lived. Robert Hode (Hood) the outlaw was also known as Robert Dore Wadsley. If he had an ancestor called Robert Hode who lived in the neighbouring village of Loxley, then he would be known as Robert Hode or Robin of Loxley.
ROBERT de LOXLEY
From this famly tree the Loxley family appear to have been prominent members of the community and records show the nearby Royal Forest of the Peak was a popular hunting ground with the villagers.
Inextricably linked to the Robin Hood legend are Kirklees, Barnsdale, Watling Street, Huntingdon, Hathersage, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Robert-de-Loxley. In Huntingdon at different times were Rogerus-de-Lovetot who was the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and his father Eustace-de-Lovetot who had been the Sheriff of Huntingdon. From the same family and holding land in Huntingdon near Robertus-de-Lockesley was William-de-Lovetot, he was the Lord of the Manor of Sheffield and Hallam near Loxley. The published records for Huntingdon circa 1242 and 1247 confirm that Robertus-de-Lokesley, Thomas-de-Lokesley, and Rogerus-de-Lovetot held land in Huntingdon also. Robin Hood as we know is often spoken of as "Robin of Loxley" or the "Pretended Earl of Huntingdon" and Robert-de-Loxley had links with both Huntingdon and Loxley. Waltheof the Earl of Huntingdon was the Lord of the Manor of Hallam and he had a Hunting Lodge at Hallam Head overlooking Loxley. His descendents in their turn became the Earls of Huntingdon. The Hastings family married the last of the Huntingdons and from the 1500's when they were given the title "Earl of Huntingdon" began giving their male children the middle names Robin Hood, a tradition that has continued until the present day.
The following entries have been found by Robert and David and show Robert-de-Loxley holding land in Huntingdon and summonsed to court in Nottingham.
Pleas before the Justices of the Bench, Michaelmas Term, 26-27 Henry III (1242) in Nottingham.
John of Kent, Nicholas Meverall and Robert of Locksley come against William of Sutton of one bovate of land pertaining to Leake, and justice for them etc. And William comes and summons by warrant Philip of Staunton. The same to be held in the octave of Martin by the auxiliary court.
In the same volume Robert de Loxley appears with Nicholas Meverill and John of Kent at court in Leicester as the plaintiffs, against Philip of Staunton who is accused of some breach of the peace involving their lands. (Philip`s followers in this affair are identified as four knights named William de Senevill, William de Charners, Radulf de Sechevill and Eustace Folville. The Sheriff was ordered to distrain (legally take something in place of a debt payment) the lands of the offenders and bring them to court. The case was repeated (presumably heard again) in court at Nottingham.)
1243 Leicester. John of Kent, Nicholas Meveral and Robert of Locksley come via their attorney for 4 days against Philip of Staunton, who has essoined (excused himself) because he is ill in bed, against the same of pleas of land in the county of Nottingham etc; and Philip does not come nor do his knights who were seen with the same, certainly William de Senevill, William de Charners, Eustace de Folvill and Radulf de Sedevill and various other defaulters. And orders go out to the Sheriff to distrain the lands of the same. And he (the Sheriff) is to have the bodies of the same on the day of Trinity in one month. The same day given to William of Sutton, who summoned the aforesaid Philip by warrant etc "Just before the case was due to be heard Meverell (Meveril?) had gathered a band of `divers malefactors and outlaws` who assaulted the jurors empanelled to hear the case `and had chased and captured Henry de Longesdon one of the jurors and compelled him to swear on the book that he would find a verdict for the said Sampson and Isabella` and had threatened to kill any juryman who gave a verdict against them."
Then in the Curia Regis for 1244 Robert de Loxley appears in court at Huntingdon obtaining 20 shillings from the Abbot of Sautre – again there is some dispute over land. In the same volume Robert of Loxley twice appears receiving money for lands in Gilling and Leake from John of Leake, Baldwin Blaunc and his wife and Simon Quarrel.
In 1245 we have this. 24) No. 389, f0- 78. Ascension Day, 29 H. III., Nic Meverill, with John Kantia, on the one part, and Henry de Leke. Henry released to Nicolas and John 5 m. rent, which he received from Nicolas and John and Robert de Lockesley for his life from the lands of Gellery, in consideration of receiving from each of them 2 M. only, the said Henry to live at table with one of them and to receive 2 m. annually from the other. T., Sampson de Leke, Magister Peter Meverill, Robert de Lockesly, John de Leke, Robert fil Umfred, Rico de Newland, Richard Meverill. (25) No. 402, p. 80 b. Thomas de Lockesly bound himself that lie would not sell his lands at Leke, which Nicolas Meveril had rendered to him, under a penalty of L40 (40 Marks). (Gellery, is a village now called Yelling, just south of Huntingdon. The whole area had belonged to the Earl of Huntingdon.)
The Sloane Manuscript says Robin Hood came from Loxley, Roger Dodsworth tells us Robert Loxley came from Hallamshire which is Loxley and as the Wadsley family held Loxley Common and Loxley Chase, that may well be the case. The Wadsley family married into the Everingham family who were the hereditary keepers of Sherwood Forest in the first part of the 13th century at the same time Robert-de-Lockesley was active. They also had family near Robin Hood's Grave not far from the Calder Valley.
Nottingham, Derbyshire and a large part of today's Sheffield including Dore were administered by both Nottingham's Sheriff and Nottingham's Archbishop. Robin Hood according to Joseph Hunter is credited with taking the abbot’s deer. It is at Dore where Robert Fitz Ranulf, a Sheriff of Nottingham built Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield in penance for his knowledge of the plot to murder of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Robin Hood (Lord Robert Dore) was known to dislike the sheriff and the hierarchy of the church and Dore was on the border between Loxley and Nottingham, it was the entrance or the 'way through' between both places. Later the Nottinghamshire Strelly family who were the verderors for Sherwood Forest came into possession of the Abbey and all the surrounding land; they were already the Lords of Ecclesall on the opposite bank of the River Sheaf from where Sheffield gets its name. Their roots were in Nottingham and they had possessions in the "Royal Forest of the Peak" near Peveril Castle and Loxley.
Also in Huntingdon were the Meverill family whose main possessions were in the “Royal Forest” at Tideswell. They were tenants of Ranulf, earl of Chester. Nicholas and Richard Meverill appeared in court alongside Robert of Loxley and were known to associate with outlaws. It seems certain that Robin Hood, if that is who Robert-de-Locksley was, would have been in the Royal Forest of the Peak, in the King's Larder at Tideswell, not far from Loxley. The fact that Robert-of-Loxley held land in Huntingdon would make him a yeoman as in the Geste of Robin Hood.
Thomas Gale, who Professor Holt describes as a fine classical scholar recorded in 1702AD that Robin Hood died on the 24 Kalands of December 1247 and although Professor Holt says there is no such date apparently there was. But despite this Holt goes on to say, "If we arrange all these items chronologically we seem to have the shadowy outline of a biography: Robin active in the 1190’s, an outlaw in 1225, dead in 1247, an interval exactly matching his twenty-two years in the greenwood in the Gest; then a figure of legend by 1262." fitting in well with the dates for Robertus de Lockesley.
In the Sheffield Phone Book there are no “R. Hood’s” and only one “R. Loxley” and in medieval England the percentages would have been similar, therefore it highly significant to find someone with the name Robertus-de-Lockesley in this context, who is a yeoman in Huntingdon, who is living in the right period, and who has friends living in the Royal Forest, and with the Lovetot’s from Huntingdon living in Loxley (Hallamshire). If Robertus-de-Loxley wasn't Robin Hood, then I believe he is as close to the real outlaw as we will ever get.
Also in 1379AD were Robert Hode and his wife Agnes living at Handsworth, Sheffield.
These were a law abiding couple whe were paying the standard Poll Tax at four pence per annum. Also in Hallamshire was the outlaw Robert Hode otherwise known as Lord Robert Dore of Wadsley who was given the King’s pardon on 22nd May 1382. We know Robin Hood was active before 1377AD and because of the overlap of the dates and from the notes below it is obvious that Robert Hode of Handsworth and Robert Hode otherwise known as Lord Robert Dore of Wadsley are two different families.
Joseph Hunter [1783-1861] proposed that Robin Hood and his wife Matilda who figured in the Wakefield court rolls in 1316/17 may have been the Robin Hood of legend. However, while Joseph Hunter was certain that Robin Hood originated from Loxley he was less convinced about Robert Hood of Wakefield and says it is the "most probable theory respecting the outlaws, that they were soldiers escaped from the battle of Boroughbridge and the proscription which followed."
The case for the law abiding husband and wife Robert Hood and Matilda who purchased land at Bichill for two shillings where they built a five-roomed house in 1316AD which he lost when he was declared an outlaw is as follows:- Robert Hood of Wakefield was a tenant of Earl Warenne. He was summoned to arm himself against incursions by Scots raiders in the same year he purchased land at Bichill in 1316AD but Robert Hoode of Wakefield did not answer the call and was fined "three-pence" at the next Wakefield Manor court. In 1318 a similar order was made and this time Robert Hode's name is missing from the Manor court records so presumably he turned up, perhaps serving with Warenne and Edward II at the siege of Berwick. In 1320, the ownership of the Manor of Wakefield was transferred by earl Warenne to Thomas, earl of Lancaster and in 1322 Robert Hoode was called to fight as an archer by Simon de Balderstone, Steward of the manor of Wakefield on the loosing side under Lancaster at the battle of Boroughbridge. On the 12th March 1322 all those who had fought under Lancaster were declared outlaws.
The Book of Meaux tells us that, 'some fled abroad, and some secreted themselves in woods and fastnesses with which they were acquainted and turned their skills in archery against harmless passengers or the still more unprotected herds of deer.' Robert Hood appears again in 1335 when he is summoned to appear before the court at Wakefield for, 'Resisting the lord of the manor' and again in 1357 there is a note in the Wakefield Manor Roll that simply records the land at Bichill as, "A tenement formerly in the tenure of Robert Hood."
In support of this Rafael Florez says, "A list of seized property by the King that year included a building of 5 rooms of new construction on Bichill, Wakefield." This is consistent with someone being outlawed and it does appear that the property at Bichill remained empty. The livery jackets of the archers in the flanks of Lancaster's army at Boroughbridge in 1322 were Lincoln Green. Sir Geffrey Lutteral of Barnsdale was making Lincoln Green cloth at this time and we know Robin Hood's association with it. This ties in very well with Robert Lockesley leaving Loxley and going to the Calder Valley. The River Calder flows through the boroughs of Kirklees, Wakefield, Brighouse, Mirfield, and Dewsbury.
Robin was son of Adam Hood, of the nearby village of Stanley, forester to the Earl de Warenne. This is where "Robinhoodstreteclose" was found in the 17th century and it appears this was a local family, unconnected with either Hobbe Hod or Loxley although this in no way detracts from his candidature as the legendary outlaw.
Picture: Sundance Kid.
WILLIAM ROBEHOD c.1261. Picture: Jesse James.
A criminal gang comprising of three men and two women were suspected of robberies and the harbouring of robbers. They fled the jurisdiction of the court and were duly outlawed. One of the members of the gang was William son of Robert le Fevere. His chattels worth 2 shillings and 6 pence were seized by the prior of Sandleford without warrant. Le Fevere means Smith today and it was not until he came to court that the clerk entered him in the Memoranda Roll as William Robehod.
Professor Holt Says. “This makes it certain that William son of Robert le Fevere of the Plea Roll and the William Robehod of the Memoranda Roll were one and the same person. So someone along the administrative chain between the Justices in Eyre and the Remembrancer in the Exchequer, one of the clerks, perhaps even the Remembrancer’s clerk changed the name. And what led him to do so was that William son of Robert had Robert in his name and was a member of an outlaw gang indicted for robbery. So he became William Robehod. It follows that the man who changed the name knew of the legend. The earliest reference to Robin Hood must now therefore be taken not to be 1377 but 1261-2. In all senses that is an enormous advance."
But as Stephen Knight said, "A reviewer would be wise to note that the premise by Holt that other outlaws contributed to the legend and the name Robin Hood was adopted to honour these early outlaws is -- to say the least -- suspect. Just because the name starts showing up with slight variations does not, to my satisfaction, prove when the Robin Hood myth first arose. Nor does it demonstrate clearly that there was an actual outlaw named Robin Hood."
Robert Lynley says, "William son of Robert le Fevre and William Robehod. It is just two descriptions of William, one with his 'surname', Robehod, and in the other he is merely being described as the son of Robert the Smith." The truth of the matter is that family names followed accepted guidelines. The name appears mainly in south east England, it is an obscure family name, there are less than thirty known occurrences in the whole of England before 1499AD and it has nothing to do with Robin Hood.
Interestingly there was also William Hod who caused a commotion when he imported woad from France. (Woad was an expensive dye used in the manufacture of purple robes) The woad ended up in Guilford, Surrey. The French who wanted the woad back threatened to burn down the castle and the town. It is more than likely the officers of the neighbouring Berkshire court knew of William (robe)Hod and the consequent furore. The episode ended three years later in 1265AD when William Hod took the Sheriff of Sussex and Surrey to court and won. The sheriff was ordered to hand over six score marks.
ROBERT HOD aka HOBBE HOD c.1225
Here is someone else with the name Hod. Dr. Crook identifies this man as Robert of Wetherby, see below. Many hours have been spent by scholars researching the original manuscripts and there is nothing to suggest this man, Robert Hod (Hobbe Hod?) was either legendary, a leader of men, a hero, an archer, or a huntsman, neither is there anything to link him to the man of legend, nor is there a record he was outlawed, which is a detail Holt uses to discredit the Wakefield candidate even though everyone who fought at Boroughbridge was outlawed.
Dr. David Crook believes Robert of Wetherby and Robert Hod may have been the same man and says, "It is conceivable, but impossible to prove, that he and the fugitive Robert Hod were the same man." He then gives his reasons and adds the following comment, "All that can be said for certain is that the two men shared the same, very common, forename and fell foul of the law in the same, very large, county at about the same time."
The hunt to capture him cost forty shillings and in the following year another twenty-eight shillings was spent on his execution by beheading. In addition there is an order of two shillings for a chain to hang Wetherby, meaning his corpse would be hung from a gibbet for perhaps 25 to 30 years till his bones fell apart as a dreadful warning to others not to practice crime. This bears little resemblance to the Robin Hood of legend.
Was "Hobbe Hod" a fugitive seeking sanctuary at York, as many did? This could explain how he dropped out of sight? See here for information on places of refuge and here for info. on the Liberty of St. Peters.
Holt speculated this candidate might deserve further investigation without providing any additional information. He admits that, “Without such additional evidence it is bound to be inconclusive.” p54.
Picture: Al Capone.
ROBERT THE OUTLAW c.1201
10. Reginald le Teinus accused of the receipt and fellowship of Robert the outlaw comes and defends. The jurors say that they suspect him, and the four neighbouring townships say that they suspect him of it. So let him purge himself by water under the Assize. And there must be inquiry as to Richard Revel, who was sheriff when the said Robert escaped from his custody. See here
Picture: Charles Manson.
LOXLEY IN WARWICKSHIRE c.1196
J.R. Planche [d.1864] published his paper, A Ramble with Robin Hood, in 1864. Planche believed that Stukeley had confused the name Fitzooth with Fitzodo, a family that appears in Dugdale's Baronage. This family apparently became lords of Loxley, in Warwickshire. Planche believed that Robert Fitzodo, lord of Loxley Manor in the twelfth century was the original Robin Hood, however Planche failed to prove that he was ever an outlaw or in any way connected to Robin Hood who is associated with Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.
Note: The Warwickshire web site shows a grave slab not in the church but outside in an open graveyard. These monuments didn't appear till the 16th century. They were expensive and only the rich could afford them. If an outlaw died in medieval England the chances were that his body was thrown in the nearest ditch. See here for the Warwickshire Loxley
Holt says, "The Dugdale's Baronage is by no means full or accurate. Planche then added families and individuals that were entirely fictitious." page 42.
Picture: Bugs Moran.
OTHER POSIBLE OUTLAWS
William de Rode seven mares with their foals one year, 20s. It was presented and found by the Jurors that Thomas Folfambe, Senr., had one equitium of seven mares in the Forest of the King, to his damage of one mark, and died ; therefore the heirs of Thomas Foljambe must respond. Bl Robert le Archer, Hugo de Morhage, Walter Miller of Villa de Castle, for escapes of his mares in the King's demesnes.
The Knight Jurors found that Robert the Archer, Richard Daniel, William de Wormhill, Roger fil Adam, and Thomas Foljambe were Foresters of Campana, whose ancestors were enfeoffed by William Peverel primus. Questioned by the thirty-six Jurors, concerning the rights which he said he ought to have, he said that his ancestors also had the same from the time when they were first Ctifeoffed. Campana means "Champion" and was part of the Royal Forest of the Peak near Loxley. It was administered by the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Wadsley became the seat of a family similar in rank to the De Ecclesalls, and like them they held this estate by the name of a manor of the great baron at Sheffield-castle. Like the Ecclesall’s also, they adopted for their heraldic insignia the arms of Furnival. The three golden escallop shells are a sign that the bearer had been to the Holy Land while the martlets distinguish their arms from the senior family’s arms. They had at Wadsley a hall and park, and domestic chapel which were not wholly destroyed in the reign of Elizabeth, but of which now only the names remain.
The first of the knightly family of Wadsley is Rogerus contemporary with Radulphus the first lord of Eccelesall. He was the father of Wido or Guy de Wadsley, who with his son Robert is mentioned in confirmation deed to Beauchief without date.
Ralph de Ecclesall clerk granted to Roger son of Cotemoy or Costenot and his heirs one acre of land butting upon Wadsley, namely that which he held of Ralph son of Robert son of Wido de Wadsley, rendering yearly for the same to him and his heirs three pence at the feast of the Assumption of Saint Mary the Virgin, for all services, &c.
This Ralph and Robert de Wadsley are probably the same persons who appear among the witnesses to Thomas lord Furnival's charter to Sheffield, 1297.
1294, 22 Edward I. Robert de Wadsley gave to Robert the son of Nicholas de Langers that land which Robert de Bethemys sometime held in Langers with one place of new inclosure lying between the said land and the moor of Wirrall on the one part, and between his land and that of Thomas de Furnival on the other rendering to him and his heirs four shillings and one penny of silver. Dated at Wadsley on the vigil of Saint James the apostle.
1307,35 Edward I. The king granted to Robert de Wadsley a market on Friday at his manor of Rotherham, and a fair there for three days, to wit, on the eve, day, and morrow of Saint John the Baptist.
1312, 6 Edward II. Robert son of Edmund de Wadsley gave to Robert Senur of Wortley, and to the heirs of his body, land in Wadsley and Bradfield Dated at Wadsley on the Sabbath day next after the feast of Saint Margaret. Ralph de Wadsley a witness
This Robert de Wadsley was a knight, and in the same year a witness to a confirmation of Sir Thomas Chaworth to Beauchief.
30 Henry VI. Edo de Wadsley, probably the same name with Wido or Guy de Wadsley, held the manor of Wadsley of John earl of Shrewsbury at the fourth part of a knight's fee.
And lastly, Sir John Wadsley knight about the time of King Edward IV. left a daughter and heir name Margery, who carried this manor of Wadsley to her husband Henry Evenugham of Stainborough near Barnsley, the chief of a very potent Yorkshire family For her and for her husband was formerly the following memorial in a window of the church of Silkston the parish in which Stainborough is situated in which we may observe that this great heiress retains her maiden name after her marriage.
It is dubious how far this inscription may render it imperative on us to regard this lady as sole daughter and heir. In a collection of Yorkshire genealogy, Lansdowne MSS. in the British Museum, she is described as a co-heir, and in another similar collection principally of East riding families made by a judicious and careful hand in the latter end of the reign of Elizabeth it is stated that Sir John Wadsley left by his wife, a daughter and heir of Sir Robert Massey knight, three daughters his co-heirs, of whom the eldest married Henry Everingham of Stainborough, the second Sir Adam Everinglham of Birkin, and the third Waterton of Walton. In both these manuscripts is the same pedigree of six descents of the Wadsleys, which seems hardly reconcilable with the authentic memorials of the family above noticed.
Before dismissing the house of De Wadsley we may remark that there is a tradition among the inhabitants of Wadsley, that the ancient owners of the hall were accustomed to entertain twelve men and their horses every Christmas for twelve days; and that at their departure each man was expected to stick a large pin or needle in the mantle-tree.
The marriage of the heiress of Wadsley with the house of Everingham was about the time of Richard III., with whom the Everinghams and their neighbour Sir Thomas Wortley were in high favour. It is by no means improbable that Richard visited these two knightly families during his sojourn at Sandal castle. The Evenughams did not desert their hereditary seat at Stainborough, but they for a time at least maintained the house and park at Wadsley. Leland mentions Wadsley as one of the seats of Everingham; and Dodsworth a century later observes of the Don that 'it goeth by Wortley to Wadsley, where in time past Everingham of Stainborough had a park now disparked.'
On inquisition taken at the castle of York after the death of Henry Everingharn of Stainborough esquire, before Robert Chambers the king's escheator for the county of York, the jurors delivered in upon oath that the said Henry and Margery late his wife were seized of the manors of Wadsley and Worral in his deniesne, as of fee in right of his said wife, and that they had issue Thomas Evcringham. Further that the said Henry outlived Margery his wife, and that the premises in Wadsley and Worral aforesaid were held of the Lord Furrilval as of his manor of Sheffield.
Thomas Everingham of Stainborough esquire, son and successor, married Margaret daughter of Thomas Wentworth of Bretton esquire, and by his will dated the 24th of July 8 Henry VIII. enfeoffed Sir Thomas Wentworth knight, John Wickersley, James Longtey, and George Lynacre in his manors, lands, and tenements at Stainborough, Rockley, Wadsley, and Worral to the use of himself for life, and after to the only use of Margaret his wife, until such time as Henry Everingham his son came to the age of twenty-one
Which Henry so succeeding, by Muriel his wife daughter and at length sole heir of Sir John Burton of Kynsley knight, had issue Henry Everingham his son and heir.
This Henry spent and consumed the greatest part of his estate. In the 31 Henry VIII. lie granted the manors of Wadsley and Worral to Sir Thomas
Johnson knight, and in the 34th of the same reign made a deed of bargain and sale of the same premises. But he finally parted with the manors to Robert Swyft esquire, to whom he levied a fine of them in Easter term 4 and 5 Philip and Mary.
Robert Swyft left only daughters; and on the partition of his estates 22 September 1561 the manor's of Wadsley, Worral, and Wickersley were assigned to Sir Francis Leake who married one of them.
Leake disposed of the manors of Wadsley and Worral to George earl of Shrewsbury, who died seized of them in 1590; as did his son Gilbert the seventh earl in 1616. They are enumerated among the possessions of the family in the great entail of the third of Charles I.; and among the manors of this family for some time sequestered by parliament.
1 "Roll of King`s Pardons 4-5 Richard II"
THE SCALE OF THE PROBLEM
For the satisfaction of those who would care to consult these records for themselves, it may be noted that at present they may be called for as "Duchy of Lancaster Records," Class F. 50 to 56; but as it is now the custom of the Record Office to change the numbering and classification of the Rolls without any reference to old accounts, this cannot be depended upon. This system of changing the notation of Rolls is a very mischievous one, and likely to create endless confusion. Dugdale and the older writers who give references, and even writers of our own day have done so, with a view to aid searchers to go to the Rolls themselves, a most valuable help to those engaged in seeking evidence in support of title. Now this assistance is lost and the searcher is left to guess (if he can) where in the great bottle of hay of the Record Office he can discover the small needle he is in search of. No doubt this confusion is made purposely, with a view to hiding from the public the terrible abstractions of records which have recently taken place, but it is obvious that this is no valid excuse for creating so much confusion, and it would be far better if the authorities would tell the truth and publish a full account of their losses, it would save endless tedious and fruitless searches for records which are not now in existence and much vexation of spirit to those engaged in making these searches.
The old law books lay it down as a rule that the Courts of the Justices in Eyre were held every third year, but these Rolls show, from the clearest internal evidence, that no such Courts had been held from the 18th of King John to the 36th of Henry III., and only those offences which were committed in the reign of the then king were tried; and the later Rolls contain Inquests of occurrences from the latter date to that of the Inquest, 13 Edward I., again showing that no Court had been held between these dates.
From THE LOST HISTORY OF PEAK FOREST.