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Extracts from Antiquarian Documents

Land Grant. 13thC

Land in Cowick - land grant with warranty: Adam, son of William, the merchant, of Cowick (West Riding, Yorkshire) grants to William of Cargil one section of land in Cowick. Witnessed by John, son of Thomas de Snayth, cleric, and John Godard, Hugh, son of Alan.    Phillip J. Pirages  1022, cat. 45

House Of Este. [venturino, Salvatore]. De Atestinorum Principum Calamitatibus Commentarii. 13thC onward.

This is a history of the House of Este, the noble Italian family (Dukes of Ferrara) that ruled Ferrara from the 13th through the 16th centuries, reaching its zenith of power and influence during the Renaissance. According to Britannica, Ercole I (1431-1505) "continued his dynasty's patronage of the arts, taking the poet Matteo Boiardo as his minister, extending his favour to the poet Ludovico Ariosto, espousing the theatre and musical arts, and enlarging and beautifying Ferrara to such an extent as to make it one of the first cities of Europe." His son Alfonso (1476-1534), in an attempt to improve relations with the Vatican, bravely became the third husband of the notorious Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI--and managed to survive her. This is an uncommon work: OCLC locates just nine copies, and none have been recorded in ABPC since at least 1975. (CJM1122)(Lugduni Batavorum: 1755). 155 [1] pp. FIRST EDITION.    Phillip J. Pirages  PJP Catalog: 65.411

Land Conveyance, ca. 14thC

Land at Merston on the Isle of Wight changes hands between William le Baron of Knighton and William of Huntingdon (and his wife Margaret) of the parish of Chale.    Phillip J. Pirages  601, cat. 44

Land Grant, 1465

A grant by Thomas Hobford of Evesham to John Mody of all his tenement and lands in the villages and fields of Eldresfeld, Staunton and Pendok, the ceded property having been a gift to Hobford from his brother, Galfridus. The grant is witnessed by Richard Whytyngton, William Delemare, Richard Clytte, Galfridus Mody, Philip Smede and John Donne.    Phillip J. Pirages 1023, cat. 45

Land Transaction, ca late 15thC

Conveyance by Richard Gayows the elder (formerly of Catworth in Huntingdonshire) and Thomas Lewys (formerly of Tilbrook in the same county) to Robert Portesoyll and others of land in Wornditch, Kimbolton, beside that owned by the Duke of Buckingham. The land in question is a manse, 12 acres of farmland and a pasture, and it is noteworthy that the two owners transfer this property to no fewer than eight persons, Potesoyll (a soldier), John Phillips (rector of the church of Shelton) and six others.    Phillip J. Pirages  602, cat. 44

Property transactions 16th-17th centuries

This group of 11 documents, dating from the early 16th to the early 17th centuries, all concern property on the island of Majorca (Mallorca today), some of it in the valley known today as Valldemosa (vallis de Mussa in the documents. The documents are all in the hands of professional scribes and notaries and most of them are legible, so that a diligent scholar could find out quite a bit about land tenure and inheritance patterns in Majorca from these records. They may come from a notary's office, or from the archives of an extended family.    Phillip J. Pirages 1024, cat. 45

Land Conveyance, 1540

By this document, William Pygull de Hoo of Perthale in Bedfordshire conveys 10 acres of farmland to Henry and Thomas Deym of Kimbolton, the land to be worked by John Wylde and Maryell (presumably his wife). The document states that the property had been enfeoffed to Pygull by William Stoughton.    Phillip J. Pirages  1025, cat. 45 also 603, cat. 44

Transfer Of Property In Winterton, Norfolk. 27 March, 1613

Christofer Echard of Frosingfield, Executor, records that in a Will of 1591 Alice Rose granted a dwelling and land in Winterton, Norfolk, to a laborer named Leonard Chackster. Both being now deceased, the land has passed to Chackster's widow, who has remarried John Chamberlyn, a Winterton tailor. Upon her death, the property is to be transferred to William Fox of Yarmouth, mariner. The property concerned includes a grange, a croft adjoining, and half an acre of arable land. Echard releases all claim on the property and signs the document in a bold hand. He may possibly be the enterprising Christofer (or Christopher) Echard who obtained a patent from the crown for making salt in 1606. (ST10236-1s).    Phillip J. Pirages  PJP Catalog: 65.223

Conveyance of Manor, 4 July 1631

This document relates to the transfer of Navesby Manor in the county of Northamptonshire by Sir Edward Coke (the famous legal scholar and author) and his wife, the Lady Elizabeth, to Edward Kippax and John Norwood, both of London, the money involved in the transaction to be paid on 10 January 1631/32 O.S. and delivered to the home of John Wolstenholme in Seethingham near Tower Street in London. The document goes into some detail about the former owners of the property and mentions Edward Stafford (Duke of Buckingham, the "sometime owner"), Queen Elizabeth (who seized the property when the Duke was executed), Christopher Hatton (Lord Chancellor who acquired the land), the Lady Elizabeth Hatton (who presumably inherited the land), Coke (who married Elizabeth Hatton, mainly, it is said, to spite Francis Bacon), a trio of personages (Edmond Withypole, Henry Yelverton and John Walter) who somehow were involved in the transfer of the property to Coke, 10 witnesses and Wolstenholme (with whom the Lady Elizabeth was apparently cohabiting, as she and Coke were notoriously unsuited for each other). In addition to the witnesses, the document is signed by Kippax, Norwood and Sir Thomas Coventry, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, who is presumably a party to the transaction as the Crown's representative. Also, the verso is signed by Coke, Wolstenholme (1562-1639) is of special American interest because, as commissioner for Virginia plantations, he was a central figure in the administration of colonial properties. This document was No. 29991 in the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872) who made collecting the chief business of his life, eventually becoming the greatest collector of manuscripts in history. His collection reached the staggering number of 60,000 manuscripts and approximately 1,000 incunabula, as well as many other printed books old and new. The present item was sold at Sotheby's on 30 June 1936 and again on 23 June 1952.    Phillip J. Pirages 1027, cat. 45 also 604, cat. 44

Land Transfer, 1634

Dated 25 March 1634 O.S. this document acknowledges the receipt of £240 by one Anthony Starlinge of Colby, Norfolk from Richard Harman, alderman of Norwich, as payment in full for a dwelling house in Colby with its adjacent buildings and curtilage and adjoining lands used in connection with the household. It is signed on the recto by Starlinge and on the verso by witnesses Thomas Ballyston and Robert Goose.    Phillip J. Pirages  1028, cat. 45 also 605, cat. 44

Augmentation to Arms, 1661

A grant to Sir George Lane of Tulske in the County of Roscommon in Ireland an augmentation to his family's coat of arms. This distinction is granted for faithful service over a protracted period: Land "hath for above eighteen yeares beene imployed as Secretary unto his Grace James Duke of Ormond late Lord Lieutenant of [Ireland] & acquitted himselfe with much fidelity & prudence in all transactions betwixt his late Matie. [Majesty] King Charles the First of very blessed memory, his Matie. That now is & the said Duke of Ormond & likewise for neare tenn yeares past hee hath with no lesse fidelity, constancy & ability behaved himselfe in his office of Clerke of his Maties. Privy Councell of England", et cetera. Signed on the verso by Richard St. George.    Phillip J. Pirages  606, cat. 44

Manuscript Notebooks of Samuell Parnell, and another Farmer of Washbourne, South Devon. 1664 Onward.

Three handwritten notebooks, containing the records of a farm at Washbourne, South Devon between 1664-1780 - payments for work done, products sold, money lent, tithes and taxes paid, debts repaid. Periods covered are from 1664-91 and 1730-80. The farm was owned, in the later period by Samuell Parnell and the notes give the names of many people he dealt with. It seems from a note in the second notebook that the farm was owned or tenanted by Samuel Cockrem in 1839.    Biblio

The Last Will And Testament Of Thomas Owfield Of Stoke Newington. 27 April, 1668

Thomas Owfield's Will was not settled until 1700, 32 years after it was written. It took a decree of the Archbishop of Canterbury (Thomas Tenison, who served from 1694-1715) to disburse the estate to the surviving heirs. Owfield was unmarried and childless, but he had two sisters, one apparently deceased at the time of the Will, the other, Elizabeth, residing in Stoke Newington, Middlesex. Owfield may have lived with her and her family, since among his bequests are 40 shillings to each of her servants. Elizabeth was to inherit all his household goods, her husband, John Euston, was to have all of Owfield's books, and the couple's children (Thomas and Mary) are each to receive £100 at age 21 (or earlier for Mary, should she marry before 21). Additionally, nearly £500 is divided in various complicated ways among at least 35 clergymen. The Archbishop possibly became involved in settling this estate due to the large number of bequests to members of the clergy. The Latin document is addressed to Maria (Mary) Abney and Thomas Abney, a soldier in the London guard, who are described as the surviving heirs of Owfield. Mary Abney (1676-1750), was Lady Abney, who inherited the manor of Stoke Newington, which became known as Abney House. On the knighting of her husband Thomas, who served under William III as lord mayor of London, Mary became Lady Mary.(ST10236-4c).    Phillip J. Pirages  PJP Catalog: 65.232

Tripartite Indenture Covering The Sale Of Estates In Sussex By The Trustee Of A Minor, 31 October, 1681

This document details the transactions of Richard Marsh, a merchant of London, who is acting as trustee on behalf of Theobald Shelley of Horsham in Sussex, a minor. Theobald Shelley was christened 14 Oct 1686 at Horsham to father Henry Shelley and mother, Mary. By a rather complicated series of real estate transactions, Marsh netted his ward £48. Richard Marsh paid to Edward Woodcock, a Londoner of the parish of Saint Margaret, Westminster, who offered his land as collateral for a loan of the sum of £1,000 in September of 1680, in return for Woodcock's rights to a number of Sussex properties in Buncton, Wiston, Ashurst, Plumpton, Steyning, West Grinstead, Ashington, and elsewhere. The initial investment money had come from Theobald Shelley. Although the document specifies that Richard Marsh is to have and hold the lands for 1,000 years, there is an escape clause. Edward Woodcock although allowed to recover the lands upon payment of £1,060 by a certain date he failed to do so and the lands were forfeited. On 29 April 1681, Edward Woodcock received another £600 from Richard Marsh in return for releasing all rights to recover the properties, provided however that Woodcock could rescind the transaction should he pay Marsh £1,648 by 30 October. This second deadline also passed, and on the following day, Marsh, on behalf of Shelley, sold by this indenture the lands in question to Paul Allenstrey and Toby Garbram, also both London merchants. Three brief notations appear on the back of the parchment, including a four-line statement signed by Marsh acknowledging that he has received the £1,648. Throughout the period of the various transactions the properties had been worked by various tenant farmers, also listed in the document, so that Theobald Shelley would have profited by the rents they owed as well as gaining the £48. Marsh appears to be an honest guardian, for we know that Theobald Shelley in 1689 was able to set up a modest charitable trust. Theobald Shelley of this document and the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelly were 2nd cousins 5 times removed. Their common ancestors had been Henry Shelly and his second wife, Barbara Cromer, the daughter of Sir William Cromer, Kt..1 (ST10236-4b).    Phillip J. Pirages  PJP Catalog: 65.236

1"County Genealogies: Pedigrees of the Families in the County of Sussex". By William Berry, pp. 63-69.

Conveyance By Mary Newton Of Her Dower Interest In Lands Purchased From Her Husband. Enfield, 5 September, 1683

Samuel Newton's property in Enfield was sold to William Ingram without properly conveying Newton's wife's dower rights in the lands. This oversight was apparently not discovered until Ingram sold the property to Thomas Hart and his wife, Priscilla Aswoll. This document was drawn up to transfer the dower rights of Mary Newton to the Harts. (ST10114f).    Phillip J. Pirages  PJP Catalog: 65.238

Sale By William Manton Of A Meadow In Rutland. 27 August, 1683

William Manton, described as a merchant tailor of Saint Brides in London, sells a meadow to Clement Pretty the Younger, a tanner of Liddington in the county of Rutland. Manton's father, John Manton of Liddington, had bequeathed him the meadow in Thorp, but as the younger Manton had migrated to the big city, he here divests himself of it. (ST10236-1d).    Phillip J. Pirages  PJP Catalog: 65.237

Appointment, Deputy Steward, 1692

Concerning the mannor of Aldeburgh in the area of Ipswich in Suffolk. The document, issued by Samuel Hilderbee, steward of the court of the manor, appoints as deputy steward Philip Poynter. The "lord" of the manor is Susan Johnson, who is referred to as a "spinster", but this term seems merely to mean a husbandless woman, as she is also the widow of Robert Johnson, and has two children, Elizabeth and Robert.    Phillip J. Pirages  1029, cat. 45

Sale Of Property On The Isle Of Wight. 4 October, 1693

Sale of land in Ride (Ryde), parish of North Church, in the county of Southton (i.e. Southhampton) on the Isle of Wight. The property is being sold by Henry Pressey, a shipwright, and his wife Eleanor (in conjunction with her mother Eleanor Dearson) to James Goodeve. (ST10236-1k).    Phillip J. Pirages  PJP Catalog: 65.240

Property Transactions, 1696

A very large tripartite indenture in two attached sheets. The top is cut in a wavy line and the document was in triplicate, so that should queries of authenticity arise, the outlines of the copies could be compared to prove their authenticity. It dates to 14 July 1696, the reign of William III of England, whose arms are depicted in pen in upper left. The document involves large amounts of property of the Cope family (headed by Sir John Cope the Elder), some in London, some in Oxfordshire. Sir John is raising the princely sum of £6,000 and to do so, he is giving a 100-year tenure on this property to some legal gentlemen who clearly delight in exhaustive documentation.    Phillip J. Pirages  1030, cat. 45

Ship's Passport with Health Certificate for The Pilgrim an American Ship. Cadiz, Spain to Philadelphia. 1791.

Document from the Spanish Naval Court, signed 7 February 1791, by an administrator of the Board of Health in Cadiz, issuing clearance to the American vessel The Pilgrim, John Smith, Captain, who was on a return voyage to colonial Philadelphia. Following customary inspection for bubonic plague and other deadly diseases, Smith and his crew of six are free to enter port and trade goods, under certain restrictions, before heading to Philadelphia. They were specifically prohibited from trading slaves. Captain Smith was a Private, a trooper for the Royal Horse Guard Blues, a Cavalry Regiment of the British Army, before becoming a sea merchant. In 1784 Smith married Penelope Pitt (1749-1827), Viscountess Ligonier, daughter of the diplomatist and courtier George Pitt (1720-1803) of Stratfield Saye, Hampshire. It is speculated that this John Smith may have been a descendant of John Smith who emigrated to America in 1720, whose ancestry leads back to John Smith, who was born during 1655 in County Monaghan, Ireland. The emigrant Smith family settled primarily in the Brandywine Settlement and the Lancaster County of Philadelphia.    Biblio

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