Curia Regis Rolls

The Latin term "Curia Regis" translates to "royal council", and was used for those who served on the councils of the earliest kings of England and France.

The House of Normandy used the curia regis to manage most of England's state business after the Conquest of England.[1] There was typically one larger council and one small one. The smaller council, "lesser curia regis", worked endlessly and would accompany the king while travelling throughout his realm.[2] This council was made up of officers of the state and magnates.[3]

The larger council was called the "Great Curia Regis", which gathered only on special occasions at the request of the king. This Great Council was made up of tenants-in-chief, great officers, archbishops, bishops, and abbots.[1] Together the councils handled legislative, judicial, and diplomatic state business.[3]

During the thirteenth century in England, the two councils started to separate. The "Great Curia Regis" became Parliament, with the first official use of the term Parliament in 1236,[4] and the "Lesser Curia Regis" became the Privy Council.[3]

In France, the term "curia regis" fell out of use by the fourteenth century. France now has the Council of State (French: Conseil d'État), which was formed by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799.[5]

A collection Curia Regis Rolls, government records published by His Majesty's Stationary Office, can now be found at the Public Record Office in London.
  • ^ Morris, William A. The Lesser Curia Regis Under the First Two Norman Kings of England. The American Historical Review, Vol.34, No.4. 1929.
  • ^ Holdsworth, William Searle. A History of English Law. Vol 1. Boston: Little Brown and Company. 1922.
  • ^ Adams, George Burton. The Descendants of the Curia Regis. The American Historical Review. 1907.
  • ^ Richardson, H.G. and Sayles, G.O. The Earliest Known Official Use of the Term "Parliament". The English Historical Review, Vol.82. 1967.
  • ^ Tilley, Arthur Augustus. Medieval France: A Companion to French Studies. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1922.