In 1199 King John gave the manor of Bertune to Roge de Sacy for his service to the crown. He already held substantial lands in France although these would have been lost as the Norman hold on their French lands weakened. The grant would have been issued by the crown under the great seal and was recorded in Latin in the Charter rolls.
Paper ( parchment or velum) was very expensive and all court papers and copies were written by hand thus the scribes developed a form or medieval shorthand to save time and valuable materials. (But you can pick out Bertune and Rogoni de Saceio if you look carefully.)
For example:- the charter above starts JoH’s Di gra tcet (with funny characters written over and through letters to show the words have been shortened). In fact this phrase we know when expanded becomes:- Johannes, Dei gracia Rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie, dux Normannie et Aqitanniae et comes Andegavie, archiepiscopis, Episcopis, abbatibus, comitibus, baronibus, jusiticiaribus, vicecomitibus, prepositis omnibus ballivis et fidelibus suis, salutem. or in English:- From John, by the grace of God King of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, judges, sheriffs, governors, and all his bailiffs and faithful people, greeting. There is another version of the charter in the Berton Sacy manor records that includes this full version of the text.
So you can see reading such a document is quite a challenge and we have to thank Jamie Leader and Katie Clark for the stirling work they are doing on translating this and many other documents for us.
The Charter they goes on to confirm to Rogoni de Saceio ( Rogo de Sacy) land producing £50 a year in Bertune and 60 shillings in Sumburne (Somborne) for him his heirs or whoever he wished to give it to. The charge was the feudal service of one Knight – Rogo was on call for “National Service”. It concludes with words that basically say manage it wall and you have all of the land.
Finally we come to the witnesses the archbishops of Rouen, York and Canterbury. It was sealed in Rouen on the 7th September in the first year of the reign of King John (1199).