Medieval Property Transactions in Rutland Abstracts of Feet of Fines 1197 - 1509 edited and with an introduction by Bridget Wells-Furby RLHRS Occasional Publication No 10 About this book The Rutland Local History & Record Society has just produced the latest in its series of Occasional Publications about the history of this small county, this time concentrating on local property transactions in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. In the National Archives there are 355 documents, known as Feet of Fines, which record such transactions for Rutland alone, and it is these that the author, Bridget Wells-Furby, has summarised and discusses in this book. These medieval Feet of Fines were used originally in the late 12th century to resolve legal disputes over land, and this was quickly adopted as the most secure was of transferring property. The same legal terminology continued long after that background became a mere fiction. The 'final concord' or 'fine' recording each transaction was copied in triplicate by clerks of the king's court; each party kept one part while the third part, the 'foot', was retained by the court, hence the name by which they are known today. By no means all such transactions were so recorded, but these 'feet' survive in large numbers as an unparalleled record of land transfers. The fines are an important source for manorial histories and genealogical studies, but they also record the transfer of smaller freeholdings which did not amount to manors, and help to shed light on lower ranks of society. Some of the Rutland fines include important topographical information on land holdings and other assets such as mills, fisheries, and church advowsons; a few record names of tenants as well as those of the parties involved and the justices who heard each case. The edition runs to 108 pages and provides an English summary of each fine, with full indexes of the names of people and places, and of subjects. There is also a glossary. The introduction explains the format of the fines, and discusses some of the ways they may be used. It shows the part played by women in the fines, the relationship of the fines to the manorial and political geography of the county, with examples of how and to what end the fines were used by contemporaries. There are also reproductions of some of the original documents, and in time it is intended to make them all available for consultation on the Society's website, Tim Clough, the Society's Honorary Editor, said, 'The Feet of Fines provide an invaluable source of information for anyone interested in the early history of Rutland, its land and its families, and we are greatly indebted to Bridget Wells-Furby for all the work she has done in transcribing and discussing these archives. The book will be very useful to local historians'. About the author Bridget Wells-Furby is an independent scholar specialising in the social and economic history of fourteenth-century England. Her St Andrews University PhD on the Berkeley family of Gloucestershire in that century led to the publication in 2004 of a calendar of the large medieval archive at Berkeley Castle and, most recently, The Berkeley Estate 1281-1417: its economy and development (2012). She has also published a calendar of a late- fifteenth century Suffolk cartulary, The Bohun of Fressingfield Cartulary (2012), and has written various articles on aspects of social and political history in the period. The price of this publication is £10.00, or £8.00 for members of RLHRS, plus £2.00 UK postage & packing. Copies can be obtained at the Rutland County Museum and local bookshops, or ordered on-line via the Society's website or from For further information please contact Tim Clough, Honorary Editor, Rutland Local History & Record Society, by email at 20th March 2013 If you would like to download the order form please click here
New Publication March 2013 Researching Rutland	Registered Charity No 700273 Rutland Local History & Record Society