Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Plucknett, Theodore F. T., ed., trans., Year Books of Richard II: 13 Richard II 1389-1390 (London: Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co. Ltd)

Text name(s): 

Number of pages of primary source text: 165


    Dates: 1389 - 1390

    Archival Reference: Lincoln's Inn, Hale MS. 77; Brit. Mus., Add. MS. 32,087; Lincoln's Inn, Hale MS. 187; Brit. Mus., Add. MS. 25,187; Cambr. Univ. Lib., MS. Ee. II, 26; Brit. Mus., Royal MS. 17 E VI; Cambr. Univ. Lib, MS. Ll. III, I

    Original Language(s): 

    • Anglo-Norman
    • Latin


    • Translated into English.
    • Original language included.

    Translation Comments: Facing-page translation.

    Geopolitical Region(s): 

    • England


    Record Types: 

    • Court Roll
    • Law - Legislation

    Subject Headings: 

    • Economy - Crafts and Industry
    • Economy - Guilds and Labor
    • Economy - Trade
    • Government
    • Law - Crime
    • Law - Secular
    • Peasants


    • Index
    • Appendix
    • Introduction


    “Year Books” are the modern English name that is now typically given to the earliest law reports of England. The documents edited in this volume contain court records of pleas (such as property disputes, trade regulations, and criminal cases) given during years 1389 and 1390 of Richard II’s reign. Plucknett divides the documents into 4 sections, the Trinity, Michaelmas, Hilary, and Easter Terms. Several indices conclude the volume: a concordance of this edition with other abridgments of the Year Book; a table of statutes; a table of forms of action; a table of individual cases; an index of people and places; and an index of matters (subjects). A legal calendar is also included before the text proper.

    The Boston University Law School has digitized many Year Books from the years 1268-1535 and organized each individual entry in a fully searchable online database . The cases found in this volume can be located by searching for regnal year 13 of Richard II.

    Introduction Summary: 

    Plucknett’s lengthy (40 pp.) introduction is divided into 5 sections. The first deals with the general historical and political characteristics of Richard II’s reign as seen in the year books. The second describes the manuscripts in which the year books are found. The third explains how this volume is constructed, especially in regards to translations and grammar. The fourth gives “some deductions from the textual evidence,” mostly noting variants in the manuscripts and postulating how and why they formed. The final section discusses a selection of cases in detail: 1) Philippot v. Wade, on copyhold; 2) Abbess of Shaftesbury v. Broncker, concerning waste; 3) Mounceux, v. Mounceux, also concerning waste; 4) Prior of Bruton v. Cosham, on manorial courts; 4) Prior of Lewes v. Oxeford, concering laborers; 6) Selby v. Palfrayman, on a married woman’s merchant activity; 7) Shymplyng v. Parfey, on auditors; 8) Anon., Trinity, No. 2, concerning feoffment.

    Cataloger: AM