The community of the realm in Scotland, 1249–1424
History, law and charters in a recreated kingdom

The charter rolls of Robert I: lost rolls, full texts, and 17th-century fragmentary transcripts

Matthew Hammond explains more about the complicated world of the charter rolls of Robert I. One survives, many are lost, many were summarised, many had their contents listed, some of their content appears in RRS, V, some in RMS, and some of it ... well, you'll see. Told you it was complicated!

In my previous post, I explained that many of the charter texts surviving only in charter rolls and printed in the Register of the Great Seal (RMS) were not edited or explicitly listed by Archie Duncan in the main body of his edition of Robert I’s acts (RRS, v). Instead, one was left to glean the existence of these other rolls texts from the tables he printed at the back of the volume. Getting one’s head round the texts enrolled in the single surviving intact charter roll, ‘Roll IV’, is fairly straightforward. However, Duncan’s tables point out the fact that there once were some 20 additional rolls and one book recording charters of Robert I’s reign. We know of their contents due to indexes made in the early 17th century, when antiquarians made copies of some of the documents therein. These are printed in Appendix 1 to the 1914 edition of RMS, i.

The tables shown below list all 108 acts of Robert I printed in RMS, i, Appendix 1 (also known as ‘Ra’). The numbers run to 110 because there are a single charter each of David I and William I. Table 1 shows the documents from these fragmentary transcripts of lost rolls which have already been entered into the PoMS database as of 17 September 2018. There are two reasons why these documents were entered in the normal process of working through Robert’s acts. The first is that the charter had a date, and Duncan entered a short note of the act in the chronological course of his edition. The second is that the full text of the act has survived either as an original or other copy, and that this full text was printed in RRS, v, in the numbered sequence. 66 of these texts have been entered into the PoMS database, under the H-number displayed in the rightmost column. The table also gives which roll the text was copied from, and where in the sequence of the entire rolls it fell, by way of its index number.

Table 1. Documents from fragmentary transcripts of non-surviving rolls of Robert I: already entered

Index no. RMS, I, App 1. (Ra) Roll RRS, v, charter or note H-number
47 4 II no. 158 1/53/174
53 7 II p. 511 1/53/272
72 12 III no. 269 1/53/310
73 13 III p. 453 1/53/206
75 14 III no. 201 1/53/228
76 15 III no. 288 1/53/330
78 17 III p. 485 1/53/190
82 18 III no. 395 1/53/250
91 19 III p. 566 1/53/352
93 20 III no. 275 1/53/317
94 21 III no. 212 1/53/240
96 23 III p. 534 1/53/316
100 24 III no. 188 1/53/214
107 25 III p. 570 1/53/359
111 27 III no. 291 1/53/333
112 28 III no. 285 1/53/327
113 29 III p. 469 1/53/233
209 31 V p. 524 1/53/300
210 32 V p. 524 1/53/301
213 33 V p. 522 1/53/294
223 35 [also R77] V p. 440 1/53/180
225 36 V no. 167 1/53/184
228 37 V no. 267 1/53/308
234 38 V p. 522 1/53/293
243 39 VI No. 211 1/53/239
250 41 VI p. 573 1/53/365
253 42 [also Ra 90] VI p. 451 1/53/201
254 43 VI No. 178 1/53/202
255 44 VI No. 177 1/53/200
258 46 VI No. 142 1/53/152
260 47 VI No. 261 1/53/302
261 48 VI No. 236 1/53/264
271 50 VI No. 187 1/53/213
275 52 VI p. 530 1/53/307
305 58 VI No. 189 1/53/215
309 59 VI p. 521 1/53/288
318 61 VI No. 262 1/53/303
337 62 VI No. 210 1/53/238
343 63 VI No. 263 1/53/263
347 64 VI No. 250 1/53/279
389 65 VIII p. 574 1/53/367
401 66 VIII p. 517 1/53/281
403 67 VIII No. 153 1/53/167
408 69 VIII No. 247 1/53/276
416 70 VIII p. 563 1/53/346
427 72 VIII p. 513 1/53/274
431 73 VIII No. 320 1/53/366
443 74 VIII p. 464 1/53/225
446 75 VIII p. 523 1/53/295
452 77 VIII p. 517 1/53/280
454 79 VIII p. 572 1/53/363
468 82 VIII p. 336 1/53/56
519 88 IX No. 414 1/53/189
528 89 IX No. 391 1/53/66
547 91 IX p. 454 1/53/210
558 92 X p. 523 1/53/296
559 93 X p. 523 1/53/297
562 94 X p. 523 1/53/298
608 99 XVI p. 622 1/53/423
614 100 XVI p. 622 1/53/424
615 101 XVI p. 622 1/53/425
626 102 XVII p. 622 1/53/427
640 104 XIX No. 42 1/53/48
647 106 XIX No. 46 1/53/46
665 109 XX No. 51 1/53/58
668 110 XX No. 61 1/53/69

Table 2. Documents from fragmentary transcripts of non-surviving rolls of Robert I: not yet entered in PoMS database

Table 2, below, lists the remaining acts of Robert I which were not printed by Duncan or noted in the chronological sequence. These have not been entered into PoMS, as of 17 Sept. 2018. There are 36 of these texts. As the table shows, a handful of these were noted as lost acts by Duncan.

Index no. RMS, I, App 1. (Ra) Roll Duplicate in rolls? (index and roll no.) RRS, v, lost act?
10 2 II
39 3 II No. 474
50 5 II
51 6 II
54 8 II
59 9 II
68 10 II
69 11 II
77 16 III
95 22 III 501 (IX)
108 26 III
114 30 III
217 34 V
246 40 VI
270 49 VI
272 51 VI 557 (IX) No. 444
283 53 VI 355 (VII)
287 54 VI
289 55 VI
298 56 VI
304 57 VI 366 (VII)
405 68 VIII 554 (IX)
418 71 VIII
451 76 VIII
456 80 VIII 582 (XIII) RRS, v, no. 274 (note only)
467 81 VIII
480 83 VIII
491 84 VIII
503 86 IX 108 (III)
518 87 IX
538 90 IX
593 95 XIV
597 96 XIV
628 103 XVIII
644 105 XIX