Definition of pipe roll in English:

pipe roll


  • The annual records of the British Exchequer from the 12th to the 19th century.

    • ‘An exchequer record, a pipe roll, tells almost nothing about those sums which were paid into and out of the chamber.’
    • ‘The first surviving pipe roll for the financial year 1129-30 shows how the sheriffs and other royal officials were summoned to account at the Exchequer twice a year, at Easter and Michaelmas.’
    • ‘Its name appears on a pipe roll, a medieval document that records accounts paid to the Government, dating from 1194.’
    • ‘The pipe rolls on which the exchequer entered details of royal revenue and expenditure reveal the pursuit of royal rights being pushed to the limit.’


Probably so named because subsidiary documents were rolled in pipe form.