inquisition post mortem

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An inquest held by the king's escheator or his deputy after the death of a tenant‐in‐chief of the Crown to establish the extent of the estate and to confirm the rightful heir. A jury of twelve local men of high repute gave information under oath. Records from the 13th century onwards are kept at The National Archives in C 133–42 and E 149–50. Calendars and indexes are available for many reigns, and some county record societies have published detailed calendars. Such records survive in large numbers, especially for the period 1270–1350. They are arranged to a fairly consistent format, and as well as showing what estates were held in chief by an individual, they can be used to illustrate broad contrasts between places and regions. See Bruce M. Campbell, English Seigniorial Agriculture, 1250–1450 (2000).

Subjects: History.

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