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Other debts

Following the sections on the farm and profit, county accounts often have a number of routine entries, repeated year after year. These may include: unpaid debts of past sheriffs; payments for royal demesne manors which had been leased out; rents and farms for small properties, such as mills, purprestures (encroachments on royal or common land), and assarts (land cleared from the forest for cultivation); some traditional local payments, such as cornage in Northumberland; and the farms of boroughs which dealt directly with the Exchequer, often as payments in the name of the citizens or the men of the borough. The borough farms could represent substantial amounts and were often used, like the county farms, for making payments for supplies as instructed by writs.

In many counties, there were also old debts, dating back many years, which were recorded annually. In some cases, these debts had been attermined - that is, there had been an agreement that they should be paid off by fixed annual instalments. Some of these agreements could result in very low returns for the Exchequer, where it had been politically advantageous to offer generous terms to a debtor: for example, in Staffordshire in 1259, Giles of Erdington was shown to owe £3,287 for debts dating back to the roll of 1229; he was paying this debt at the rate of £5 a year (which would have meant that it would not be repaid in full until 1916).

There then followed the long list of outstanding debts from the county, roughly in reverse chronological order: the process of copying unpaid debts from one year's roll to the next, and adding new debts at the end, produced this effect. Each year, the new debts would be added to the end of the account for the relevant county, under the heading Nova oblata. The previous year's debts which remained unpaid would be above that, in a section headed De oblatis. The previous year's De oblatis entries were simply copied at the end of the main listing of outstanding debts. Debts arising from particular events, like the imposition of scutage or the visit of the eyre, would be added to the Nova oblata under their own headings, such as De amerciamentis per Rogerum de Turk'. These headings would be retained in subsequent years, as new debts were added below, and serve as aids to navigation when tracing debts from one year's roll to the next.