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Calendar of Patent Rolls (1216-1582)

Grants of official positions, or land, or commissions were made by the English Crown as letters patent (i.e. letters left open rather than sealed) issued under the Great Seal and addressed 'To all to whom these presents shall come'. The Patent Rolls cover a very wide variety of subject matter, including grants and leases of lands, wardships, presentations to churches, grants of markets and fairs, licences to widows to marry, titles and pensions, pardons, confirmations of charters and licences to alienate land.  On the back of the rolls were entered proclamations and commissions, giving details of appointments to a variety of offices. 

The 74 volumes held in the collection were published between 1891 and 1986 and comprise: 6 volumes – Henry III, 1216-1272; 4 volumes – Edward I, 1272-1307; 5 volumes – Edward II, 1307-1327; 16 volumes – Edward III, 1327-1377; 6 volumes – Richard II, 1377-1399; 4 volumes – Henry IV, 1399-1413; 2 volumes – Henry V, 1413-1422; 6 volumes – Henry VI, 1422-1461; 1 volume – Edward IV, 1461-1467; 3 volume – Edward IV – Edward V – Richard III, 1476-1509; 2 volumes – Henry VII, 1485-1509; 6 volumes – Edward VI, 1547-1553 (includes Index); 4 volumes – Philip & Mary, 1553-1558; 9 volumes – Elizabeth I, 1558-1582.  (74 volumes, published 1891-1986).