Authorde Clopton, Robert
KeywordDe Clopton, Robert
De Clopton, William
Manuscripts, Medieval - England
Great Britain - History - 13th century
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AbstractThe charter's dimensions are 11 by 25 cm at the widest, but the left side is cut on an angle from head to foot so the measurement at the bottom corners is 23.8 cm wide. There are eleven unruled lines of text written in a crisp Gothic cursive belonging to the thirteenth century. The seal is exceptionally well preserved and attached by a tag of parchment 2.1 cm wide threaded through a single slit 2.3 cm wide and 1.4 cm from the foot of the document. Looking at the front of the charter, the length of the tag is 1.5 cm from the back, the strip of parchment runs 2.6 cm. Two strands of parchment extend from the bottom of the seal; these are 5 cm long and 1.8 cm wide. Both sides are equal in measurement. The left strand has a tear of about half its width near the seal but is still holding. The single-sided seal, made of green wax and measuring 4 cm in diameter, bears the legend SIGILL[UM] ROBERTI DE C[L]OPTUN, and the image of a bird, possibly a dove, facing to the right and sitting on a branch. An endorsement in a later hand on the back of the parchment reads: Quieta clamacio Roberti Clopton Willelmo filio suo de una virgate terre. (Quitclaim of Robert Clopton to William his son of one virgate of land).
This document is a classic example of a medieval charter, a legal document recording the conveyance of lands or rights that constitutes an extremely important class of evidence for historians of the middle ages. Charters narrated or recorded a gift or grant, but did not actually convey property; the conveyance itself was a public ceremony. A translation by Angus Somerville is included.