Robert Sutton (c.1340 – 1430) was an Irish judge and Crown official. During a career which lasted almost 60 years he served the English Crown in a variety of offices, notably as Deputy to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and Deputy Treasurer of Ireland. A warrant dated 1423 praised him for his "long and laudable" service to the Crown.
Little is known of his early life: the surname Sutton has been common in Ireland since the thirteenth century, especially in the south. William Sutton, who acted as his deputy and succeeded him as Master of the Rolls, is thought to have been his nephew.
He was appointed to the living of Trim, County Meath in 1370; later he became Archdeacon of Kells, and prebendary of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin and later Prebendary of Ossory.
He was Clerk of the Crown and Hanaper, or chief clerk in the Irish Chancery, by 1373, an office he held jointly with Thomas de Everdon: an order in Council stated that they should share the annual fee of £20.As a judge he served in a variety of offices over many years. He was appointed Master of the Rolls in 1377 and held that office at regular intervals over the next fifty years: his final warrant of appointment was granted in 1423, and apparently confirmed him in office for life. He also served as Deputy Lord Chancellor and Keeper of the Great Seal of Ireland on many occasions and was Deputy Escheator in 1380. He was briefly Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer in about 1401.
He was also a politician, and was summoned to the Irish Parliament at Kilkenny in 1390. He was Deputy Treasurer in 1403, and was instructed to grant an amnesty to the noted Irish leader Art Mór Mac Murchadha Caomhánach (Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh), King of Leinster, in 1409. In 1420 he witnessed the charter by which King Henry V guaranteed the liberties of the citizens of Dublin.
In 1423 he was praised for his laudable service to five English monarchs. He died in 1430, when he must have been 90 or more.
The Exchequer of Pleas, or Court of Exchequer, was a court that dealt with matters of equity, a set of legal principles based on natural law and common law in England and Wales. Originally part of the curia regis, or King's Council, the Exchequer of Pleas split from the curia in the 1190s to sit as an independent central court. The Court of Chancery's reputation for tardiness and expense resulted in much of its business transferring to the Exchequer. The Exchequer and Chancery, with similar jurisdictions, drew closer together over the years until an argument was made during the 19th century that having two seemingly identical courts was unnecessary. As a result, the Exchequer lost its equity jurisdiction. With the Judicature Acts, the Exchequer was formally dissolved as a judicial body by an Order in Council on 16 December 1880.
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Rowland FitzEustace, 1st Baron Portlester was an Irish peer, statesman and judge. He was one of the dominant political figures in late fifteenth-century Ireland, rivalled in influence probably only by his son-in-law Garret FitzGerald, the "Great" Earl of Kildare.
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