Alumni Books

“Approaching Pipe Rolls: The Thirteenth Century”

This is the first study specifically concerned with thirteenth-century pipe rolls and shows how pipe rolls were compiled, what they contain, and how to read them.

These records of English government finance were produced annually. They list debts owed to the government, by the sheriffs of each county, by manors and boroughs, and by individuals for taxes, fines and judicial penalties. They also list the payments made, sometimes in cash to the treasury, sometimes for building works, fees for royal employees and relatives, the provision of castles, and much more. The rolls are an essential source for administrative history, and provide detailed information for family and local historians. All the rolls are now readily available, either in print or online, but they are at first sight difficult to understand.

This book shows how the rolls evolved in the course of the century and serves as a guide for beginners, armed with some basic Latin, who want to explore these records. As well as explaining the conventions of dates, numbers, abbreviations, monetary units and so on, it illustrates the material to be found in pipe rolls by a detailed examination of a single roll.

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