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Close Rolls in United Kingdom

The Rolls Series, which while not an exclusively legal source, contains much legal material (Source: the University of South Caroline Gould School of Law) Closed correspondence containing private instructions by kings to individuals, they include writs of summons of the peers, and writs of election for the commons. The proceedings relating to tenure are often entered on the close roll, together with the records of judicial proceedings before the king’s council.

Great Britain. Public Record Office. Close Rolls of the Reign of Henry III : Preserved in the Public Record Office. 14 Vols. London: His/Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (now part of the Office of Public Sector Information), 1902-1938.

Abstract: Text in Latin. Contents: Vol. 1, 1227-1231; Vol. 2, 1231-1234; Vol. 3, 1234-1237; Vol. 4, 1237-1242; Vol. 5, 1242-1247; Vol. 6, 1247-1251; Vol. 7, 1251-1253; Vol. 8, 1253-1254; Vol. 9, 1254-1256; Vol. 10, 1256-1259; Vol. 11, 1259-1261; Vol. 12, 1261-1264; Vol. 13, 1264-1268; Vol. 14, 1268-1272.

Hardy, Thomas D., ed. Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum (1204-27) in Turri Londinensi Asservati. 2 Vols. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode , 1833-1844.

Abstract: Published under the direction of the Commisioners of the Public Records. Contains writs of summons of the peers, and the writs of election for the commons, together with many parliamentary proceedings, such as writs issued by the authority of the legislature for the reigns of John and Henry III. Vol. 1, 1204-1224; Vol. 2, 1224-1227. The introduction, which contains a discussion on the history of equitable jurisdiction, was also issued separately as A description of the Close Rolls, with an account of the early courts of law and equity (1833). Text in Latin.

Morton, Ann, ed. Close Rolls (Supplementary) of the Reign of Henry III, Preserved in the Public Record Office, 1244-1266. London : His/Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (now part of the Office of Public Sector Information), 1975.

Abstract: Text in Latin.

Close Rolls and Medieval Law

Close Rolls and Legal History

Bibliographies of English Law History

  • Maxwell, William H. A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Volume 1: English Law to 1800. London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1955-
  • Beale, Joseph H. A Bibliography of Early English Law Books. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926.
  • Winfield, Percy H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925.


See Also

  • Origins of the Common Law (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Medieval Laws (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Magna Carta (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Personal Status Law (in this legal Encyclopedia)

CLOSE ROLLS or close writs in the Past

Writs containing, grants from the crown, to particular people and for particular purposes, and, not being intended for public inspection, are closed up and sealed on the outside and for that reason called close writs,in contradistinction. to grants about the public in general, which are left open and not sealed up and are called letters patent. (see this concept in the corresponding entry on this reference) 2 Bl. Com. 346. [1]


Notes and References

  1. Partialy, this information about close rolls is based on the Bouvier´s Law Dictionary, 1848 edition. There is a list of terms of the Bouvier´s Law Dictionary, including close rolls.

See Also

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  • Article Name: Close Rolls
  • Author: Rhona Schuz
  • Description: The Rolls Series, which while not an exclusively legal source, contains much legal material (Source: the University of [...]

This entry was last updated: July 15, 2020


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