Calendar of Patent Rolls

For most genealogists the big question having read the title of this post is what are Calendar of Patent RollsPatent Rolls? And why not ask the question because they aren’t standard genealogy fare. Here is a description written by National Archives …..

Grants of official positions, or land, or commissions are made by the Crown as letters patent (i.e. open letters) issued under the Great Seal. They are addressed ‘To all to whom these presents shall come’. Copies were and are enrolled (to act as a record) on the Patent Rolls, now in The National Archives, in C 66.

The Patent Rolls run in almost unbroken series from 1201 to the present day (although there are significant gaps for the Civil War and Interregnum period). Latin is the usual language in the early period, but some entries are in English even in the sixteenth century. In the 1650s and after 1733 all entries are in English.

They record a huge variety of documents issued under the Great Seal – treaties, charters, grants of land, offices, titles and pensions, judicial commissions, pardons, patents for inventions, licences, leases of crown lands, presentations to churches, grants of markets and fairs, etc.

I have no idea why the University of Iowa should have these Patent Rolls on their website, but they do and they are freely available for use by researchers and teachers. All they ask is that you acknowledge the source and of course as good genealogists you would do that Smile

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