Inquisitions Post Mortem (IPMs)
Provided by Fay Sampson Priestley
The following were transcribed from the Moger collection of IPMs in what was then the Westcountry Studies Library. Now held at the Devon Heritage Centre. Jan Wood of Devon Archives and Tony Rouse of the Local Studies Service have kindly approved the publication of these transcripts on Genuki.
In the 20th century Olive Moger made abstracts of a large number of Inquisitions Post Mortem. Bound volumes of her typescripts are now in the Devon Heritage Centre.
In medieval times an Inquisition Post Mortem was not held to determine the cause of death but to establish what lands the deceased held and who should inherit.
If a minor inherited, it was necessary to establish the day of his or her birth, to determine the date at which they came of age and could receive that inheritance. A number of witnesses testified to why they could remember that day. Such a Proof of Age provides a snapshot of life on a particular day in a medieval community. We have such a document forJohn, son of Thomas de Keynes in 1373.
My transcripts here, made in the course of my family history research, cover 12 generations of the Keynes family, lords of the manor of Winkleigh. There are three for the Whityng's of Woode in Kentisbeare and one for Mauger de Sancto Albino (St Aubyn), lord of the manor of Georgeham. One other relates to the disputed lands of John Radford, kinsman and heir of the lawyer Nicholas Radford who was murdered by the son of the Earl of Devon in 1455.