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A window into the thirteenth century is provided by the publication of these important documents - a crucial source for medieval history.The Fine Rolls were the earliest rolls kept by the English royal chancery. Recording offers of money to the king for all manner of concessions and favours, they are central to the study of political, governmental, legal, social and economic history. This volume is the first in a series which aims to publish the fine rolls of the reign of Henry III (1216-1272), a particularly rich period for surviving documents; there are some 56 rolls preserved in the National Archives, one for each regnal year. However, despite the light they shed on politics, government, and society, they have never previously been properly edited or published, and these fully-indexed volumes - covering the period up to 1248 - will therefore be widely welcomed. The Latin rolls are presented in English translation, with all identifiable place-names modernised, although the original forms are preserved; and each volume includes full person, place and subject indexes.
This first volume includes an introduction (by David Carpenter) to the series as a whole and also to developments in the rolls between 1216 and 1234. The period covered here was as dramatic as it was important, witnessing the accession of Henry III at the age of nine in October 1216, the winning of the civil war left by his father King John, the slow re-building of royal authority shattered by hostilities, the rebellion of Falkes de Bréauté in 1224, and the acceptance by the minority government (in new versions) of what John had rejected, namely Magna Carta.
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(parts I, II and III reviewed together) Hard to fault in both their purpose and execution (...) they fill a significant gap in both the published records of the period. ARCHIVES