Sheriffs Act, 1293




EDWARD by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland and duke of Aquitaine, to his Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer of Dublin, greeting: We send you certain ordinances enclosed in these presents, which we will to be observed in our land of Ireland, commanding you that you cause the said ordinances to be performed and observed according to their tenor in all their articles; and that this you in no wise neglect. Witness myself at Canterbury on the twelfth day of July in the twenty-first year of our reign.

These are the ordinances that the King has commanded to be performed and observed in his land of Ireland.

Appointment of sheriffs and bailiffs.

I. Concerning sheriffs and other bailiffs who have often been appointed by the great seal of England, on which account they have been less obedient to the Exchequer of Ireland, and also concerning those who are appointed by the Justiciar himself, it is agreed that the sheriffs be appointed by the Treasurer and the Barons of the Exchequer, so as in England, and be by them removed and not by others, and be answerable before them for whatever appertains to their office, and that the bailiffs who answer to the Exchequer by their own hand be appointed by those of the Exchequer, and those who are answerable to the sheriffs be appointed by the sheriffs; and that each sheriff be charged by his oath when he shall take the oath that he appoint such persons as he will be answerable for, so as in England, and that nevertheless the sheriffs be intentive to the commands of the Justiciar and as much as to him appertains.

Lands held of the King in chief: alienation without licence.


II. Concerning the lands held in chief of the King, which are alienated without licence of the King, as to which those of Ireland say that they have full power to do, and always have done so, it is agreed that as soon as they are alienated, they be taken into the hand of the King by the Escheator, so as in England, and so remain until they have made satisfaction to the King; and that the Justiciar, the Treasurer, and the Council jointly have power to take such kind of fines; and that henceforth none have power to enfeoff another of land which is held in chief of the King, save to hold of the King in chief, and that by leave of the King or of the Justiciar, if it be not in land of war or in the marches, and that there the lords that hold of the King have full power to enfeoff others to hold of them for the defence of the land, to their profit and to the increase of the lordship of the King and of his peace; and that the lords have such power in this last case to make feoffments, until the King advises at another time or until he wish to recall it. So nevertheless that the feoffments which have been made before this recall, shall be and are firm and established.

No seneschal to be Justice where franchises to be tried.

III. It is agreed that no seneschal of a liberty be a Justice Itinerant or of the Bench, or elsewhere where franchises ought to be tried.

Collection of the “Fifteenth,”

IV. Concerning the “Fifteenth” in Ireland, let it be done according to the form that they have there, and as was done in England, and the expenses of the Taxers and of the Collectors be in the discretion of the Treasurer and of the Barons of the Exchequer of Ireland, so as in England.

Resumption, and reletting lands.

V. And also the King wills that the lands of the King and the courts, which are let to farm, to hold at the will of the King, for less than the right value, be resumed into the hand of the King, and let to certain persons who shall answer for the true value, so as the Treasurer shall see what is best to be done for the profit of the King.

Fees of Justices, &c., payable at end of each term.

VI. And the King wills that the fees of the Justices and other ministers of the King in Ireland, which fees they are accustomed to take at the beginning of the term for the term to come—that Justices and all the others who take fees be paid their fees at the end of each term, so as it is done in England.