KEEPER OP THE PUBLIC RECORDS IN IRELAND.
Calendar to Fiants of King Henry VIII.
Extract from Preliminary Observations "of J.
Digges LaTouche, Esq.,
the Assistant Deputy Keeper of the Records.
The " Fiants," or Warrants to the Court of Chancery for Grants under the Great Seal, so called from their usually commencing with the words Fiant literce patentes, extend from the 12th year of Henry VIII.
to the present time.
They are comprised amongst the Records transferred to this department from the late Rolls Office of Chancery, where they had been deposited from time to time by the Clerk of the Hanaper, for the purpose of safe custody, and for facilitating the enrolment of the Letters Patent grounded on them.
The present practice is not to issue Letters Patent to the parties enÂ¬ titled to them until the enrolment has been made upon the Patent Roll, for which purpose the Fiant is treated as the original, though the enrolment directed by the Act is of the Letters themselves.
This practice has, I presume, prevailed since the 17 & 18 Charles II.,
2, known as the Act of Explanation, the 73rd section of which enacts that all Letters Patent of titles of honor, offices, or lands shall be void, unless they contain a clause of enrolment in the Chancery of Ireland within a time to be specified.
Prior to this enactment, the causes operating to such enrolments as were made, were, I apprehend, the security thereby given to the grantee, and the obtaining of their customary fees on enrolÂ¬ ment by the officers of the Omirt.
The whole number of Fiants for the reign of Henry VIII.
appears, by an entry in an old book entitled, "Schedule of various Records from Henry VIII.
to Elizabeth " (2 Q.
1), being a receipt for Records, signed by George Norton, 15th November, 1633, to have been 565.
Of these I have been able to calendar 548.
In the Manuscript Catalogue preÂ¬ pared by the Record Commissioners there are noticed only 519 ; but this number I have been enabled to augment by the addition of some which the Commissioners had by mistake included ha subsequent reigns ; of some I found among the Records of the Palatinate of Tipperary; and of others found in a bundle labelled "Fiants of various dates" (1 L.
I have also obtained the contents of a few others, which are entered as Fiants in the Books of Patents in the office of the Auditor-General, Of the above, 365 are enrolled or marked as enrolled, but I found on the Patent Rolls only 242.
This discrepancy exists chiefly in respect of Fiants for Leases.
The majority of the Fiants of Henry VIII.
correspond with, and are similar in form to, the class of "SignedBills" in the English Chancery, of which Mr.
Brewer gives an example in the preface to his Calendar of "Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of Henry YIII.,"
In this country they must be divided into three classesâ€”those signed by the King, those signed by the Lord Deputy, and those signed by other competent authority.
The first class are for the most part identical with Mr.
Brewer's example, a very few being without the petition, and one having the words, " Fiant litere domini Regis patentes in debita forma tenore verborum sequentium," inserted before the word "Rex" in the