The Harvard Law School’s Collection
of Medieval English Statute Books and
Registers of Writs

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HLS MS No. 48

England. Statutes, 1 Edw. 3 to 4 Hen. 4

ca. 1403



<Preliminary introduction>

The HOLLIS cataloguing may be found here. The following items are worth repeating:

“Description : 60 leaves : vellum ; 17 cm.

“Summary : Contains the statutes of 1 Edward III to 4 Henry IV in law-French.

“Notes : Bound in brown half-morocco.”

The cataloguing in Baker’s English Legal Manuscripts, 1, no. 71 reads as follows:


“MS. 48.

“Early C.xv, 60 ff.

“The name of John Reymys, merchant of London (1522) is written several times, but not necessarily indicating ownership; acquired by George Dunn in Dec. 1887; his sale, S. 12 Feb. 1913, no. 272; bought privately by HLS.

Census, I, 1032, no. 48.”

The manuscript measures approximately 170 X 120 mm.

The statutes of Edward III are only a selection. Those of Richard II are fuller. The hand reminds one more of that of a clerk than that of a professional scribe. Decoration is minimal and not of high quality. The headings are written in the margin, and some of them are quite faded. The binding seems to date from the 19th century, which is probably also the date of the foliation in the lower right-hand corner. The foliation is accurate, and we have used it. The marginal notes and those at the end are difficult to read; they may contain more clues as to provenance. We did not find Baker’s ‘John Reymys’, though we have no doubt that he is there. Whether or not Reymys was an owner, the book is unlikely to have been made for a lawyer or a clerk in the central royal courts. A connection with London and with merchants is at least possible.

The manuscript has six regular quires of ten folios each. There are also two bifolia of endpapers, one before the manuscript and one after, each originally having one marbled surface. (The marbled page of the initial bifolium has been torn out.) This gives us the following collation:

12 (unfoliated), 2–710 (f. 1–60), 82 (unfoliated).


Summary Contents

Clicking on the item in question will open the first sequence for the item in the PDS in a new tab or window.


  Seq. Fol. No. Item  
6–8f. 1r–2r11 Edw. 3, stat. 1 (S.R. 1:251–4) 
8–9f. 2r–2v21 Edw. 3, stat. 2 (S.R. 1:255–7) 
9–10f. 2v–3v34 Edw. 3 (S.R. 1:261–5) 
11–12f. 3v–4r49 Edw. 3, stat. 1 (S.R. 1:269–72) 
12–13f. 4r–4v510 Edw. 3, stat. 1 (S.R. 1:275) 
13–15f. 4v–5v614 Edw. 3, stat. 1 (S.R. 1:281–9) 
15–17f. 5v–6v7Ordinance of labourers, 23 Edw. 3 (S.R. 1:307–9) 
18–21f. 7r–8v8Ordinance for the clergy, 25 Edw. 3, stat. 6 (S.R. 1:324–26) 
21–21f. 8v–8v925 Edw. 3, stat 5, c. 2 (S.R. 1:3119–20) 
21–24f. 8v–10r10Statute of labourers, 25 Edw. 3, stat. 2 (S.R. 1:311–13) 
24–25f. 10r–10v11Statute of praemunire, 27 Edw. 3, stat. 1 (S.R. 1:329–31) 
25–26f. 10v–11r1228 Edw. 3 (S.R. 1:345–9) 
26–28f. 11r–12r1331 Edw. 3, stat. 1 (S.R. 1:349–53) 
28–29f. 12r–12v1434 Edw. 3 (S.R. 1:364–9) 
29–30f. 12v–13r1536 Edw. 3, stat. 1 (S.R. 1:371–6) 
30–30f. 13r–13r16Statutum de victu et vestitu, 37 Edw. 3 (S.R. 1:378–83) 
31–31f. 13v–13v1738 Edw. 3, stat. 1 (S.R. 1:383–5) 
31–34f. 13v–15r1842 Edw. 3 (S.R. 1:388–90) 
34–35f. 15r–15v1945 Edw. 3 (S.R. 1:393) 
35–36f. 15v–16r2047 Edw. 3 (S.R. 1:395) 
36–39f. 16r–17v21De perdonacionibus et gratiis factis per Regem communitati regni sui Anglie, 50 Edw. 3 (S.R. 1:396–8) 
40–50f. 18r–23r221 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:1–5) 
50–52f. 23r–24r233 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:13–15) 
52–53f. 24r–24v245 Ric. 2, stat. 1 (S.R. 2:17–23) 
54–56f. 25r–26r256 Ric. 2, stat. 1 (S.R. 2:26–30) 
56–61f. 26r–28v267 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:31–36) 
61–62f. 28v–29r278 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:36–7) 
62–65f. 29r–30v289 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:38–9) 
66–70f. 31r–33r2912 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:55–60) 
70–75f. 33r–35v3013 Ric. 2, stat. 1 (S.R. 2:61–68) 
75–78f. 35v–37r3114 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:76–77) 
78–82f. 37r–39r3215 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:78–82) 
82–84f. 39r–40r3316 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:82–87) 
84–89f. 40r–42v3417 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:87–92) 
89–91f. 42v–43v3520 Ric. 2 (S.R. 2:92–94) 
92–97f. 44r–46v361 Hen. 4 (S.R. ??) 
97–107f. 46v–51v372 Hen. 4 (S.R. 2:120–31) 
107–115f. 51v–55v384 Hen. 4 (S.R. 2:132–43) 
115–117f. 55v–56v39Notes (Not in S.R.) 
123–125f. 59v–60v40Notes (Not in S.R.) 


Detailed Contents

Clicking on the sequence number will open that sequence in the PDS in a new tab or window.


Seq. Fol. Label Header Sig.  
1no fol., no sig.Spine 
2no fol., no sig.Front cover 
3no fol., no sig.Marbled front pastedown, with bookplate, From the Library of George Dunn, Gift of the Alumni of the Harvard Law School 
4no fol., no sig.Pencilled notes, some by George Dunn 
5no fol., no sig.Blank 
61r1 Edw. 3, stat. 1. (S.R. 1:251–4)i 
  Heading: Statuta de tempore Regis E tercii Anno primo.
  Note: Decorated initial ‘E’.
71vAnno primo 
82r1 Edw. 3, stat. 2. (S.R. 1:255–7)Anno sc’doii 
  Heading: Anno secundo.
92v4 Edw. 3. (S.R. 1:261–5)Anno 
  Heading: Anno quarto.
103rquarto R Eiii 
113v9 Edw. 3, stat. 1. (S.R. 1:269–72)Anno quarto 
  Heading: Anno nono.
124r10 Edw. 3, stat. 1. (S.R. 1:275)Anno ix e xo R Eiiii 
  Heading: Anno Xmo.
134v14 Edw. 3, stat. 1. (S.R. 1:281–9)Anno 
  Heading: Anno xiii.
145rxiiii R E 
155vOrdinance of labourers, 23 Edw. 3. (S.R. 1:307–9)Anno 
  Heading: Anno xxiii.
  Note: Decorated initial ‘O’, unfinished.
166rxxiii R E 
176vAnno xxiii 
187rOrdinance for the clergy, 25 Edw. 3, stat. 6. (S.R. 1:324–26)Anno xxv R E 
  Heading: Anno xxv.
208rxxv R E 
218v(1) 25 Edw. 3, stat 5, c. 2. (2) Statute of labourers, 25 Edw. 3, stat. 2. (S.R. [1] 1:3119–20 [2] 1:311–13)Anno 
  Heading: (1) de eodem Anno de treson’. (2) Eodem Anno de labrers come de ??.
229rxxv R E 
239vAnno xxv 
2410rStatute of praemunire, 27 Edw. 3, stat. 1. (S.R. 1:329–31)Anno xxvii E R 
  Heading: Anno xxvii.
  Note: Decorated initial ‘A’, unfinished.
2510v28 Edw. 3. (S.R. 1:345–9)Anno 
  Heading: Anno xviii.
2611r31 Edw. 3, stat. 1. (S.R. 1:349–53)Anno xxxi R Ei 
  Heading: Anno xxxi.
2711vAnno xxxi 
2812r34 Edw. 3. (S.R. 1:364–9)Anno xxxiiii R Eii 
  Heading: Anno xxxiiii.
  Note: Decorated initial ‘O’, unfinished.
2912v36 Edw. 3, stat. 1. (S.R. 1:371–6)Anno xxxvi 
  Heading: Anno xxxvi.
3013rStatutum de victu et vestitu, 37 Edw. 3. (S.R. 1:378–83)Anno xxxviiiii 
  Heading: Anno xxxvii.
3113v(1) 38 Edw. 3, stat. 1. (2) 42 Edw. 3. (S.R. [1] 1:383–5 [2] 1:388–90)Anno xxxviii 
  Heading: (1) Anno xxxviii. (2) Anno xlii.
3214rxlii R E 
3415r45 Edw. 3. (S.R. 1:393)xlii & xlv E R 
  Heading: Anno xlv.
3515v47 Edw. 3. (S.R. 1:395)Anno xlv & xlvii 
  Heading: Anno xlvii.
3616rDe perdonacionibus et gratiis factis per Regem communitati regni sui Anglie, 50 Edw. 3. (S.R. 1:396–8)quinquagesimo R E 
  Heading: Anno lmo.
3817rquinquagesimo R E 
3917vAnno quinquagesimo R E 
  Heading: Explic’ statut’ de tempore R E tercii.
4018r1 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:1–5) 
  Heading: Statuta de tempore R Ric’i sc’di Anno primo.
  Note: Decorated initial ‘E’.
4219rprimo R Ric’i 
4420rprimo R Ric’i 
  Note: Signature (or flourishes) in lower margin.
4621rprimo R Ric’i 
4822rprimo R Ric’i 
4922vanno primo 
5023r3 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:13–15)Anno t’cio Regis Ric’i 
5123vanno t’cio 
5224r5 Ric. 2, stat. 1. (S.R. 2:17–23)anno quinto R Ric’i 
  Heading: Anno vto.
5425r6 Ric. 2, stat. 1. (S.R. 2:26–30)Anno vito R Ric’i 
  Heading: Anno vi.
5626r7 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:31–36)Anno sexto R Ric’i 
  Heading: Anno vii.
6128v8 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:36–7)Anno viii 
  Heading: Anno viii.
  Note: Decorated initial ‘A’, unfinished.
6229r9 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:38–9) 
  Heading: Anno ix.
6631r12 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:55–60)Anno xii R Ric’i1 
  Heading: Anno xii.
  Note: Decorated initial ‘O’, unfinished.
6832rxii Regis R’2 
  Note: Notes or pen trials in lower margin.
7033r13 Ric. 2, stat. 1. (S.R. 2:61–68)Anno xiii regis R111 3 
  Heading: Anno xiii.
7234rxiiiiiii 4 
7435rAnno xiii R Ric’i 
7535v14 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:76–77)anno 
  Heading: Anno xiiii.
7636rxiiii R Ric’i 
7736vAnno xiiii 
7837r15 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:78–82)Anno xv 
  Heading: Anno xv.
  Note: Large hole in page; text seems unaffected.
8038rxv R Ric’i 
8138vAnno xv 
8239r16 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:82–87)Anno xvi R Ric’iiii 
  Heading: Anno xvi.
8440r17 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:87–92)Anno xvii R Ric’iiiii 
  Heading: Anno xvii.
8641rxvii R Ric’i 
  Note: Note or pen trials in lower margin.
8842rxvii R Ric’i 
8942v20 Ric. 2. (S.R. 2:92–94)Anno xvii 
  Heading: Anno xxmo.
9043rAnno xx R Ric’i 
  Note: Note in 16th-century script: ‘made iiid London / Item to speake to my Brudelt for an ?heriest ?letwen’.
9244r1 Hen. 4. (S.R. 1 Hen. 4) 
  Heading: Statuta de tempore R Henr’ quarti Anno primo.
  Note: Decorated initial ‘P’.
9445rprimo R H 
9646rprimo R H 
9746v2 Hen. 4. (S.R. 2:120–31)Anno primo 
  Heading: Anno sc’do.
9847rAnno sc’do R H 
10048rsc’do R H 
10249rsc’do R H 
10450rsc’do R H 
  Note: Note in lower margin in later informal script.
10651rsc’do R H 
10751v4 Hen. 4. (S.R. 2:132–43)Anno 
  Heading: Anno quarto.
10852rquarto R H 
11053rquarto R H 
11254rquarto R H 
11455rquarto R H 
11555vNotesAnno quarto 
  Note: Notes in a different hand concerning wool (‘lanuage’) and hostlers, both citing statutes of Richard II, followed by notes and pen trials in a later hand; modern note in pencil below.
  Note: Notes in more informal later script continued.
  Note: Draft of the beginning of a letter in English in a later script.
11857rBlank except for pencilled layout and foliation 
11957vPen trials 
12058rBlank except for pen trial and foliation 
12158vBlank except for brief note at bottom of page 
12259rBlank except for foliation 
  Note: Note in English in later script followed by pen trials.
  Note: Note in a hand contemporary with the ms. concerning treason.
  Note: Forms and notes of various dates; the date 1521 is mentioned.
126no fol., no sig.Blank 
127no fol., no sig.Blank 
128no fol., no sig.Blank 
129no fol., no sig.Marbled freestanding endpaper 
130no fol., no sig.Marbled back pastedown 
131no fol., no sig.Back cover