Spotlight On: Chancery

Chancery: Fine Rolls of Henry III

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We hope you enjoyed watching our Education Service video with collections expert Paul Dryburgh. This video focusses a chancery record from the reign of Henry III and explores the role and function of chancery within royal government.

Now try and answer the following questions:

  • What was the medieval chancery?
  • Who worked there?
  • The three types of Chancery roll are: Letters close; letter patent; fine rolls. Can you explain the difference between them?
  • How is information kept together in a roll?
  • How did the scribes solve the problem of not having an index?
  • What type of document is the Henry III document featured in the video? [Look at the image and transcript of the video]
  • Can you describe the appearance of the document?
  • What is the date?
  • Who has produced it?
  • Who is it for?
  • What is the purpose of this particular document? [Use the transcript to help]
  • How is this document useful for understanding society during the reign of Henry III?
  • What is the value of chancery records?
  • Why does the National Archives have these records?

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