Saturday, 1 October 2011

Inquisitions post mortem - an introduction

Inquisitions post mortem (IPMs) were a distinctive feature of the feudal system and were introduced about 1236 in the reign of Henry III. An inquisition was held when someone died ‘seized of lands in capite’, that is holding lands from the Crown. They were abolished when Charles II came to the throne in 1660. An inquisition will provide details of the lands the person held but can often provide much valuable genealogical information.  Many of the early inquisitions have been abstracted and published. These collections of abstracts, known as "calendars", were previously only available in large university libraries and reference libraries but many of them, copyright permitting, have now been digitised and made available online. A full list of  the volumes of  IPMs that can be found online is maintained on the Medieval Genealogy website. I have downloaded all the available volumes for my own personal use and, time permitting, will transcribe and publish all the entries for the surnames Cruwys, Cruise, Cruys, Cruse and any other related variant spellings.

© Debbie Kennett 2011

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