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ECR 60 13

Reference code

ECR 60 13





Administrative / Biographical history

Between 1450 and 1456 Parliament passed three Acts of Resumption (in May 1450, March 1451 and 1455 - 56). Since 1437 much Crown land had been alienated, often permanently, and often to household men such as the Duke of Suffolk, and the King was heavily in debt. These Acts were an attempt to reform his finances so that he could more easily "live of his own" by reclaiming many of these grants and ensuring that if they were granted out again the terms were more favourable to the Crown. They were also an expression of the feeling that at a time when things were going badly if not disastrously, especially in France, those who bore most responsibility had deceived the King to ensure that they were extremely well rewarded. All these Acts contained exemption clauses from which Eton and King's College benefited - an indication that Henry's foundations were dear to his heart, for even when an exemption was included in the original petition, Henry in his response made it much wider. In the Act of 1455 -1456, made when the Duke of York was Protector, Eton and King's are not specifically mentioned in the petition at all but Henry again included them in his response (RP v 306a). Under Edward IV, Eton enjoyed no such protection. Parliament in 1461 passed a sweeping act enabling Edward to take in hand his predecessor's grants (RP v 463-475) and Eton was not immune, though many estates and privileges were regranted in 1462. From 1463 the College was threatened with annexation to St George's Chapel, Windsor, although this threat receded and a part of its endowment was restored. In the 1465 Act Eton and King's were again specifically exempt (RP v 523a)as well as receiving exemption as part of a wider class. The 1467 Act also specifically excluded Eton and King's. In spite of these exemptions there is no doubt that Eton did become poorer under Edward IV and the number of Fellows was reduced from ten to seven. The College appears to have retained for some time the hope of regaining at least some of what it had lost, hence its lists of former endowments.


1450 - 18th century

Associated material

A comparison of the estates that appear in ECR 63 with later audit rolls makes the losses clear. ECR 39/9 On the dorse, a list of estates with dates of original grant ECR 39/140 A list of manors or alien priories formerly belonging to Eton with a note of new holders ECR 47/83 List of lands granted by Henry VI and resumed in before July 1467 ECR 49/296 List of manors etc in the Endowment Charter of 25 March 1441 (wrongly given as 4 March) no longer in the College's possession ECR 60/12/2/1 pp. 113-114 Manors, priories and other possessions given by King Henry ... and now witholden

Finding aids

A rough list by Patrick Strong contains more detailed notes on individual documents

Publication note

B.P. Wolffe: The Royal Demesne in English History (George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1970). References are given to Rotuli Parliamentorum (RP)
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