A WARRANT from the LORDS JUSTICES to the JUDGES, to certify their opinions of the Earl of Ormond's title to the liberty of the county of Tipperary. [Heading in Carew's hand.] MS 613, p. 47 1616
MS 613, p. 47
Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, ed. J. S. Brewer & W. Bullen (6 vols., 1867-73), vol. V, document 170.
Thomas Dublin. Canc., John Denham.
Opinions of the judges, 25th April 1616.
The Earl has no title or right to any county palatine there. But as the Earl of Ormond is not at present in this kingdom, that we might review his title, you may understand that his Majesty did direct letters 12 January, 1614, to the late Lo. Deputy, to signify the present state of the freedom of Tipperary, and how justice was administered there. Upon those letters, by a reference from the late Lo. Deputy, the Earl of O., with his counsel, had a public hearing before us, at which time the Earl did show a patent bearing date 46 Edw. III., for his pretended liberties, the copy whereof we have not nor can find upon record, but we have seen a copy of a patent, 3 and 4 of Philip and Mary, in which the patent of 46 Edw. III., and the words of grant thereof are recited in hoec verba, viz.:--Regalitatm. feod. militum. et alias libertates, et res quæ habuit tam in maneriis de Clonmell, Kilfekill et Kilshielan, cum pertin. in Com. Tippar. quam in aliis, clocis dicti Comitat. de Tippar., quatuor placitus; viz. incendio, raptu, forstallo et thesauro invento. Ac etiam proficno de Crciis in Eod em Com ilatu cum omnibus ad ea spectand. quæ erga se et hered suos retinere voluit dunclaxat excepto.
And at the same hearing the Earl, by direction from us, did show unto the King's Serjeant and Attorney General several rolls and writings of his own to prove his pretended usage, by which he pretends to appoint officers, judges, and sheriffs, as in a county palatine, and to condemn and pardon felons, and to determine all other real and personal actions within the said liberty; the copy of which patents, and the abstract of the rolls produced by him, and the former certificate of the judges, we present to you. But, upon consideration of the premises, they seem to us to be very weak, and of small validity to support so great a pretence. For, in that certificate of the King's Serjeant and Attorney, there is no roll from 11 Hen. VI. till 7 Hen. VIII., nor any roll since, and very few before 11 Hen. VI., to warrant his pretended usage of a liberty excepting only some few rolls from a county court and turne kept in that court till the time of Richard III; and for the words of the patent, they have no colour to warrant a county palatine. And, touching the present state of that liberty which we are required to certify, it is thus: his Majesty's judges do sit there twice every year and discharge the service, as in other counties within their circuit, without any interruption but verbal claims. And his Majesty's justices of peace do keep their quarter sessions there as other justices of peace do in the rest of the counties within this kingdom. And in the interval of the coming of his Majesty's justices into that county, the Earl and his officers do, at their pleasure, keep their session, gaol delivery, and peace, and do exercise jurisdiction in criminal and all civil causes within the said county, which proves an extraordinary burthen of the subjects thereof.
Signed: Dom. Sarsfelde, Fr. Aungier, Willm. Methwold, Christoph. Sibthorp, Blennerhayssett, Geo. Lowther.