Other opponents were weakened by the audacious stroke of 1223, when the justiciar suddenly announced the resumption of all the castles, sheriffdoms and other grants which had been made since the king's accession.
Originally the counties were synonymous either with sheriffdoms or stewartries.
As a sample of the kings methods it may be mentioned that he once made over nineteen of the thirty-five sheriffdoms, within a fortnight, to Peter of Rivaux, a nephew of the chancellor.
The sheriffdoms and most of the ministerial posts were left in the hands of Scots, though the supreme executive authority was put in.the hands of John of Brittany, earl of Richmond, the kings nephew.
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