Image of 'Brecon Collegiate Church and School' in script across the top

Images and transcription: Witness R

The following page includes images taken from the oldest copy consulted, the Patent Roll, which we have designated Witness R.

This has been provided principally as a palaeography exercise for those wishing to learn to read this specific type of hand, which was commonly used in the royal Chancery during this period. The text has been broken into blocks and the lines have been numbered.

The transcription here differs in several respects from the version of R used for comparison with the other witnesses. This is because they serve different purposes.

In the comparison, certain differences between R and the other copies were ignored as being semantically insignificant. We could have chosen to mark them up in our XML document but elected not to, as this would have introduced a great deal of extraneous markup (multiplying not only tedium but also opportunities for human error) and would have thrown off the computer-generated calculations of the number of variations among the texts.

Principally, these are matters of orthography (spelling conventions). Witness R continues the medieval practice of condensing all -ae- and -oe- diphthongs to a bare -e-, while all the other copies consulted and compared had "corrected" the orthography, in accordance with Classical/Renaissance Latin standards, by using -ae- and -oe-. However, the text of R as rendered below sticks to the -e- orthography used in the document, as the goal is to give a more literal transcription.

Similarly, in this hand (as in some others of the era), small -c- and -t- are often very similar in form and sometimes entirely indistinguishable, especially when found in the middle of a word, and most notably as part of a -ci-/-ti- formation. Here, according to my best reading, -ci- typically appears where -ti- would appear in a classical/Renaissance Latin spelling of the word. Therefore, when a word is so abbreviated that the whole -ti- or -ci- section is missing, I have maintained a consistent -ci- in the expansions.

The text of R does not include the more modernized punctuation used in the later copies, which we did not mark as variants in our comparison; the transcription here adheres to the punctuation (or lack thereof) found in this copy. It must be said that this makes it much more difficult to read and interpret; but this was written out by scribes who spent their days copying out the same types of documents, the same formualae of words, and thus they did not need the level of support that a reader needs to come to such a text for the first time. Similarly, this scribes abbreviations are both severe and often unhelpful. Some medieval manuscripts are much more severely abbreviated than this, but the abbreviations in them are usually part of a complex system that should leave the reader in little doubt as to the proper expansion of the abbreviation. Here the scribe shortens a great many words with something like a large apostrophe. This is very inconvenient for the reader, as the endings of the words define their grammatical function. The expansions in the transcription below owe a great deal to the other, later manuscripts: either the lost original copy was not so abbreviated, or the transcripts taken from it were made by copyists well versed in the sort of Latin used here, or both. Indeed, even the transcribers were inconvenienced by this. In line 64 below, I have not expanded reddend' solvend' vel faciend' for this reason. Witnesses WSJ (the printed versions) all expanded this reddendo solvendo vel faciendo (matching the end of the previous section of text) while all the manuscript copies, Witnesses, CDIO, expanded these words reddendum solvendum vel faciendum in line 64. Thus while a unanimous reading of these words in line 57 suggests confidence in the -o expansion in that place, the disagreement where the text appears in line 64 suggests that we should be more cautious in assessing the intent of the chancery scribe here. Readers new to this hand should not be discouraged by their inability to see why one abbreviation is expanded differently from another that looks much the same.

Capitalisation is also something of a guessing game at times. We are accustomed, in a world of print and type, to a strict distinction between upper- and lower-case letters (terms that themselves arise from the printer's shop). This distinction is not so clear in many manuscripts, even long after the advent of printing. Different copies of the Brecon Letters Patent consulted in our project did not always agree on the use of majuscule (capital) letters, and as this was a scribal choice that was unlikely to help us answer our research questions, we ignored it in our markup. I have given a more literal transcription below, but caveat lector: the these represent judgment calls on the part of the transcriber, and you are free to disagree with them. In particular, the P beginning Priorat* often seems to me slightly larger than that beginning the word prior, so I rendered them as Priorat* and prior.

The first image is an index note from the left-hand margin of the roll:

Image of patent roll's marginal heading

Willelmo Episcopo
Meneven' de con[cessione]
sibi et successoribus/

Image of Patent Roll's A/B lines (1-3)

¶ Rex omnibus ad quos et c' salutem. Cum Collegium de Alberguylly in loco inidoneo existit ubi nulla occasio hospitalitatis
2. aliis per viros dicti Collegii administrande datur ad commodum et utilitatem subditorum nostrorum in locis dicto Collegio adjacentibus
3. ad grave dampnum dictorum ligeorum nostrorum /

Image of Patent Roll's C lines (3-8)

3. Cumque eciam domus sive Prioratus fratrum predicatorum in oppido nostro de Brechnok
4. in australibus partibus Wallie cum omnibus et omnimodis mesuagiis terris et tenementis bonis rebus necessariis et implementis ad dictum
5. nuper Prioratum spectantibus in manibus et possessione nostris iam existunt vel existere deberent pretextu doni concessionis ac sursum
6. reddicionis Ricardi Davidi nuper Prioris et Conventus eiusdem nuper Prioratus nobis inde facte virtute cuius nos in iure
7. Corone nostre Anglie de dicto nuper Prioriatu mesuagiis terris tenementis ac ceteris omnibus et singulis premissis seisiti sumus in dominico
8. nostro ut de feodo

Image of Patent Roll's D lines (8-13)

8. Cumque eciam subditi et ligei nostri in dictis partibus australibus Wallie commorantes, summa egestate
9. oppressi filios suos in bonis literis educare non possunt et in dictis partibus australibus Wallie nullus ludus literarius habetur per
10. quod non solum et clerici et laici omnis etatis et condicionis rudes et ignari redduntur tam sui officii erga deum quam debite
11. sue obediencie erga nos sed eciam lingue vulgaris Anglie minime periti sic quod statuta nostra in huiusmodi casu
12. edita et provisa observare nequeunt / Et quod debuerunt et tenentur facere secundum formam et effectum dictorum statutorum intelligere
13. non possunt propter ignoranciam dicte lingue Anglicane

Image of Patent Roll's E lines (13-18)

13. Cumque eciam in dicto Collegio de Alberguylly pro Cantatoribus
14. in eodem Collegio stipendia atque salaria ad summam quinquaginta trium librarum sterlingorum annuarum attingentia providentur
15. Que quidem summa quinquaginta trium librarum in meliores usus potest disponi utpote in adolescencibus et aliis iuvenibus
16. in bonis literis instruendis et cotidiana lectura per aliquem virum pium et eruditum dictanda unde possunt veritatem callere et
17. quid deo et Regi faciendum foret sacius possunt intelligere in maximum commodum tocius populi nostri ibidem commoraturi sicut
18. per relacionem dilecti nobis in Christo Willielmi Episcopi Menevensis plenius ac planius accepimus/

Image of Patent Roll's F lines (18-25)

18. Nos igitur volentes ex intima
19. charitate nostra qua erga deum et cunctum populum nostrum gerimus congruum remedium in hac parte providere et in multo meliores
20. usus quam nunc disponuntur convertere et transmutare clare percipientes quod premissa omnia et singula melius disponi possunt
21. Volentesque multum statum subditorum nostrorum melius consulere de gratia nostra speciali ac ex certa sciencia et mero motu nostris
22. dedimus concessimus et confirmavimus ac per presentes damus concedimus et confirmamus prefato Willielmo nunc Episcopo totum illum
23. domum sive Prioratum fratrum predicatorum ac totum solum et fundum precinctum et ambitum dicti nuper Prioratus ac omnia
24. edificia terras et tenementa redditus reversiones et servicia mesuagia sola funda proficua commoditates advantagia et hereditamenta
25. quecumque dicto nuper Prioratui quoquo modo spectancia sive pertinencia/

Image of Patent Roll's G lines (25-31)

25. Aceciam omnia catalla res hustilmenta
26. necessaria et implementa in dicto nuper Prioratu tempore dissolucionis eiusdem vel unquam postea existentia vel ad eundem
27. nuper Prioratum aliqualiter spectancia vel pertinencia cuiuscumque generis vel speciei fuerint ac in tam amplis modo et
28. forma prout dictus Ricardus David ultimus Prior dicti nuper domus fratrum predicatorum vel aliquis predecessorum predicti Ricardi
29. David nuper Prioris eiusdem nuper domus sive Prioratus dicti nuper Priorat' terras et tenementa solum fundum edificia ac
30. cetera hereditamenta qucumque bona et catalla res hustilmenta implementa et necessaria dicti nuper Prioratui spectancia
31. vel aliquo modo pertinencia ac reversionem dicti nuper Prioratus et ceterorum premissorum quorumcumque/

31. Aceciam dedimus et
32. concessimus et de gratia nostra speciali certa sciencia et mero motu nostris damus et concedimus eidem nunc Episcopo et successoribus
33. suis totum ius nostrum statum titulum clameum possessionem interesse et demand' que nos in predicto nuper Prioratu sive
34. domo fratrum predicatorum ac ceteris premissis cum pertinenciis ac in reversione dicti nuper Prioratus sive domus fratrum predicatorum
35. ac ceterorum premissorum cum omnibus et singulis suis pertinenciis universis ac in manibus et possessione nostris iam existentibus habemus seu
36. quovismodo infuturum habere poterimus aut heredes vel successores nostri habere aut clamare debent aut poterunt
37. quovismodo infuturum iure titulo materia vel causa quibuscumque iuxta omnem iuris effectum ac omnia et omnimodas libertates
38. et franchesias iura et iurisdictiones quecumque dicto nuper Prioratui terris et tenementis vel ceteris hereditamentis quibuscumque
(continued below image)

Image of Patent Roll's H lines (31-45)

39. sive alicui inde parcelle quoquo modo spectancia vel pertinencia adeo plene et integre prout antedictus Ricardus David nuper Prior
40. Prioratus predicti aut aliquis predecessorum suorum Priorum dicti nuper Prioratus sive domus predicatorum in iure illius Prioratus
41. dict' nuper domum sive Prioratum fratrum predicatorum ea vel predicta bona et catalla res necessaria vel implementa predicta vel
42. aliquam partem inde unquam habuerunt tenuerunt vel gavisi fuerunt habuit tenuit aut gavisus fuit aut habere tenere seu
43. gaudere debuerunt vel deberent debuit sive deberet aut adeo plene et integre prout ea omnia et singula ad manus
44. nostras racione et pretextu dissolucionis dicti nuper Prioratus sive domus devenerunt seu devenire debuerunt vel deberent
45. ac alio modo quocumque in manibus nostris jam existunt seu existere debent vel deberent/

Image of Patent Roll's I lines (45-51)

45. habendum tenendum et gaudendum
46. predictam domum sive predictum nuper Prioratum solum fundum et precinctum eiusdem ac omnia et singula edificia dicti nuper Prioratus
47. ac omnia mesuagia terras et tenementa redditus reversiones et servicia commoditates et proficua ac cetera hereditamenta quecumque bona
48. catalla res hustillamenta implementa et necessaria quecumque ac cetera omnia et singula premissa superius expressa et specificata
49. cum suis iuribus et pertinenciis universis unacum omnibus et omnimodis proficuis emolumentis et commoditatibus quibuscumque ad dictum nuper
50. Prioratum spectantibus vel pertinentibus prefato Willielmo nunc Episcopo Meneven' et successoribus suis imperpetuum tenendum de nobis
51. heredibus et successoribus nostris per fidelitatem tantum pro omni servicio et exactione quacumque

Image of Patent Roll's J lines (51-57)

51. Et ulterius ex speciali gratia nostra certa
52. sciencia et mero motu nostris damus et per presentes concedimus prefato nunc Episcopo Meneven' et successoribus suis omnia et in
53. omnimod' exitus revenciones et proficua predicti nuper Prioratus sive domus fratrum predicatorum ac ceterorum omnium et singulorum
54. premissorum a tempore dissolucionis dicti nuper Prioratus sive domus hucusque et semper postea emergencia et proveniencia habendum et
55. percipiendum dictum nuper Prioratum terras et tenementa ac cetera hereditamenta redditus reversiones et proficua revenciones et servicia ac omnia et
56. singula premissa cum pertinenciis eidem nunc Episcopo et successoribus suis ex dono nostro absque compoto seu aliquo alio proinde nobis
57. heredibus vel successoribus nostris quoquo modo reddendo solvendo vel faciendo/

Image of Patent Roll's K lines (57-64)

57. Et ulterius ex speciali gracia nostra certa sciencia et
58. mero motu nostris volumus et concedimus ac per presentes damus et concedimus pro nobis heredibus et successoribus nostris prefato Willielmo nunc Episcopo
59. Meneven' et successoribus suis dictum Collegium de Alberguylly ac dictum nuper Prioratum ac unam clausuram terre que dicitur le
60. Close Ymaendny ac omnia terras et tenementa redditus reversiones et servicia mesuagia sola funda commoditates advantagia et
61. hereditamenta quecumque dicto Collegio atque dicto nuper Prioratui et eorum cuilibet aliquo tempore quoquo modo spectancia sive
62. pertinencia aceciam volumus et per presentes concedimus prefato nunc Episcopo quod habeat has literas nostras patentes sub magno
63. Sigillo nostro Anglie debito modo factas et sigillatas / absque fine vel feodo magno vel parvo in hanaperio nostro seu alibi ad
64. usum nostrum quoquo modo reddend' solvend' vel faciend'/

Image of Patent Roll's L lines (64-67)

64. Eo quod expressa mencio de certitudine aut valore premissorum aut
65. de aliis donis sive concessionibus per nos vel aliquem progenitorum nostrorum prefato nunc Episcopo ante hec tempora factis in presentibus
66. minime fact' existit aut aliquibus statutis actu ordinacione provisione sive restriccione in contrarium factis editis ordinatis sive
67. provisis aut alia aliqua re causa vel materia quacumque in aliquo non obstante

Image of Patent Roll's M lines (67-72)

67. Insuper noveritis quod nos de gracia nostra speciali
68. certa sciencia et mero motu nostris volumus et concedimus ac per presentes licenciam facultatem potestatem et auctoritatem ordinario
69. ac loci illius diocesano et Patrono fundatori ac Decano dicti Collegii de Alberguylly damus quod ipsi possunt absque
70. aliquibus impeticione vel perturbacione nostri heredum aut successorum nostrorum vicecomitum iusticiariorum Escaetorum officiariorum aut ministrorum
71. nostrorum quorumcumque libere et impune dictas annuas quinquaginta tres libras pro stipendio dictorum cantatorum ut premittitur assignatas
72. expendendas in meliorem usum secundum eorum sanas discreciones commitend'

Image of Patent Roll's N lines (72-80)

72. Et quod ipsi libere et impune valeant quendam
73. ludum literarium erigere et fundare apud Brechnoke predict' ac ipsas quinquaginta tres libras annuas ad sustentacionem
74. quorumdam proborum hominum videlicet eruditi ludi magistri et pedagogi lectoris Theologie concionatoris qui apud Breknok
75. predict' omnibus personis doceri volentibus in bonis literis erudiant ac sanctum Evangelium cunctis ligeis et fidelibus nostris ibidem
76. pure et sincere gratis et libere elucidabunt secundum ordinaciones et statuta in ea parte per dictum diocesanum et loci illius ordinarium
77. ac fundatorem Collegii predicti de tempore in tempus edenda et constituenda libere et impune absque impeticione nostri heredum aut
78. successorum nostrorum iusticiariorum ministrorum aut Officiariorum quorumcumque aliquibus statutis actubus ordinacionibus vel provisionibus incontrarium
79. factis editis aut provisis non obstantibus / Et absque aliquo ab ipsis pueris vel eorum parentibus pro educacione predictorum adolescencium
80. capiendo vel clamando/

Image of Patent Roll's O lines (80-82)

80. Aceciam de gratia nostra speciali certa sciencia mero motu nostris volumus et concedimus per presentes quod
81. dictus nuper Prioratus fratrum predicatorum Collegium Christi de Brechnok de cetero nuncupetur et ab omnibus appelletur ac pro tali
82. Collegio acceptamus et reputamus per presentes et non alio modo neque aliter imposterum vocari appellari vel nuncupari volumus/

Image of Patent Roll's P lines (82-87)

82. Et quod
83. antedictus nunc Episcopus Menevensis ac omnes et singuli prebendarii canonici choriste vicarii aliive ministri dicti Collegii de
84. Albergully ac omnes ludi magistri pedagogi lectores concionatores ac alie persone quecumque illic pro tempore existentes et
85. successores sui libere et impune apud predictum oppidum de Breknok et in Ecclesia predict' nuper Prioratus ac aliis possessionibus
86. terris et tenementis ac aliis hereditamentis quibuscumque dicto nuper Prioratui spectantibus et infra ambitum et precinctum eiusdem nuper
87. Prioratus cohabitare recedere possunt et manere/

Image of Patent Roll's Q lines (87-92)

87. Et quod idem nunc Episcopus Meneven' et successores sui ad eius et eorum cuiuslibet
88. beneplacitum libere transferre possunt dictos Residenciarios prebendarios canonicos choristas aliosque ministros dicti Collegii
89. de Alberguylly ad dictum Collegium Christi de Brechnok predictum atque eos et eorum quemlibet sub penis statutorum dicti Collegii de
90. Alberguylly aliquo tempore ante hac usitatis consuetis specificatis et declaratis absque impeticione molestacione vel perturbacione
91. nostri heredum vel successorum nostrorum iusticiarorum Escaetorum Vicecomitum Ballivorum servientium officiariorum vel ministrorum nostrorum heredum aut
92. successorum nostrorum quorumcumque vel eorum alicuius cohabitare faciat

Image of Patent Roll's R lines (92-92)

92. Et ulterius volumus et concedimus per presentes de speciali gracia nostra certa
93. sciencia et mero motu nostris quod idem nunc Episcopus Meneven' et successores sui ac omnes alii Residentiarii prebendarii canonici
94. vicarii choriste aliique ministri dicti Collegii de Alberguylly et successores sui pure libere quiete et hereditarie habeant et
95. teneant sibi et successoribus suis imperpetuum omnia et omnimoda maneria mesuagia terras et tenementa redditus reversiones et servicia advocaciones
96. ecclesiarum vicariarum et capellarum proficua emolumenta commoditates et hereditamenta libertates franchesias preeminentias et iura
97. quecumque aliquo modo ante hac data concessa debita vel spectancia dicto Collegio de Alberguylly vel fabrice dicti Collegii

Image of Patent Roll's S lines (98-103)

98. Et quod ipsi nunc Episcopus Meneven' canonici Residentiarii prebendari vicarii choriste vel collegiati aliive ministri quicumque
99. dicti Collegii de Alberguylly et successores sui habeant gaudeant et utantur omnibus et omnimodis privilegiis libertatibus franchesiis
100. preeminenciis et iuribus quibuscumque adeo plene et integre ac in tam amplis modo et forma prout ipsi et predecessores sui in Collegio
101. de Alberguylly antea habuerunt tenuerunt vel gavisi fuerunt aut habere tenere gaudere vel uti solebant vel debuerunt
102. vel eorum aliquis in dicto Collegio de Alberguylly aliquo tempore preantea habuit tenuit vel gavisus fuit aut habere tenere
103. gaudere vel uti solebat vel debuit ad opus et usum sustentacionis et manutentionis predicti Collegii Christi de Brechnok

Image of Patent Roll's T lines (103-114)

103. Ac ea
104. omnia et singula premissa Prioratum Collegium maneria mesuagia terras et tenementa ac omnia alia iura commoditates proficua et hereditamenta
105. quecumque que aliquo tempore habita cognita accepta reputata vel capta fuerunt ut partes parcelle sive membra dict' nuper
106. Prioratus Collegii maneriorum mesuagiorum terrarum et tenementorum reddituum reversionum vel serviciorum aut ceterorum premissorum sive alicuius inde
107. parcelle vel premissorum aut alicui premissorum aliquo modo appendencia pertinencia sive spectancia ex speciali gracia nostra certa sciencia et mero
108. motu nostris damus concedimus et confirmamus per presentes dicto nunc Episcopo Meneven' et successoribus suis tam libere et effectualiter
109. bene sufficienter integraliter, ac si omnia et singula premissa cum suis pertinentiis universis realiter distincte nominatim specialiter ac certitudinaliter
110. melioribus modis viis et mediis ac clarioribus et efficacioribus terminis verbis atque sentenciis iuxta omnem iuris effectum et iuxta
111. omnes meliores et maxime sufficientes intelligencias in lege dictum nuper Prioratum Collegium maneria mesuagia terras tenementa redditus
112. reversiones et servicia ac cetera hereditamenta quecumque cum omnibus et singulis suis pertinenciis et commoditatibus universis declarat'
113. dat' explanat' pronunciat' et publicat' fuissent et essent aptissimis verbis atque sentenciis in lege ad premissa et quamlibet
114. inde parcellam clarissimam accommodatissimam et specialissimam que possunt excogitari/

Image of Patent Roll's U/V lines (114-115)

114. Eo quod expressa mentio etc. In cuius
115. rei etc'. T'. R. apud Westm’ xix die Januarii, (at right) Per breve de privato Sigillo et de dat’ etc.

I am grateful to The National Archives of the United Kingdom for permission to publish these images online. They may be used here for study and teaching but should not be copied and republished elsewhere, either for commercial or non-commercial purposes. -William H. Campbell