Two volumes of fascinating thirteenth century lives

28th July 2015

The two latest Record Society publications bring the total list of volumes to 150, and they give a wonderful insight into the lives of thirteenth century Lancaster. The Crown Pleas of the 1292 Eyre of Lancashire constitute a detailed record of crime and disorder, official misconduct, threats to the king's rights and much else that had happened during the previous two decades. Roger of Bare prosecuted William Haverhill of Staynall for assault. Mabel Smith wanted to prosecute Geoffrey Pleasington but he had died. Richard son of Henry had drowned and his father had found his body; as the first finder of a corpse, he was automatically suspected of foul play, but the two men who were supposed to have arrested him could not produce him, so it was they who were in trouble.

There are over 1000 entries in the volumes, with the original Latin text published side by side with an English translation. The work of Margaret Lynch and other members of the Ranulf Higden Society, these two volumes gives a remarkable picture of life over 700 years ago.