Forthcoming Events

Thu, May 15th, 2014, @7:30pm - 09:00PM
Thomas Cooke's anatomy school and St George's burial grounds
Thu, Jun 19th, 2014, @6:30pm - 09:00PM
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and others in London
Tue, Jul 15th, 2014, @7:30pm - 09:00PM
The bishop's park at Highgate
Thu, Sep 18th, 2014, @7:30pm - 09:00PM
The Heal family in Bloomsbury
Thu, Oct 16th, 2014, @7:30pm - 09:00PM
The 1930s diary of Gladys Langford
Thu, Nov 20th, 2014, @7:30pm - 09:00PM
Evelyn Wrench, postcard monster in the early 1900s
Thu, Dec 11th, 2014, @7:00pm - 09:00PM
The West End in the 1800s: emerging pleasure district

Events Calendar

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Hampstead Manorial Court Records
Translation and transcription of the Manorial Court Rolls of Hampstead

In 2000 the Camden History Society commissioned the translation of the Court Rolls of the Manor of Hampstead held by the London Metropolitan Archive. The original Court Books have disappeared, presumed destroyed by fire or water, and what is at LMA are copies of the proceedings of the Courts Baron, which were exclusively concerned with the transfer of Manorial land and buildings. Copies were therefore made as proof to be held by the tenants of the copyhold property granted by the Lord of the Manor or given, mortgaged or bequeathed by other Customary tenants. (Courts Leet were concerned with misdemeanours and legal proceedings and would give full details of the members of the "Homage", Customary tenants who acted as jury to advise the Steward, acting on behalf of the absentee Lord of the Manor. A few of the later Courts Baron list these names.
The Rolls are in manuscript and for the most part in Latin. Mrs Pauline Sidell has translated them into modern English and, where the text resorts to English (rather peculiarly spelt by present standards) has transcribed it as it stands. Dr Peter Woodford has word-processed Mrs Sidell’s manuscript into the form you see here.

The earliest extant roll begins with a Court of 1572 in the reign of Elizabeth I and consists of 10 folios, leaping lightly over the rest of the 16th century; the Courts become more frequent through and into the reigns of James I and Charles I. Subsequent Rolls usually record a Court session at least once every year, and are highly variable in length and number of folios. The series will probably come to an end with the reappearance of Court Books in the 18th century, the date of which has not yet been securely ascertained.

Out of interest, Dr Woodford has highlighted in blue the name of a Customary tenant  or a member of the Homage when it first appears in any one Roll and is compiling a list of such names – male and female – in case this might aid genealogical research in the district, which extended over a large area, from West End (bordering on Kilburn) in present-day West Hampstead to the village of Pond Street in the east, and from North End to the border with Belsize and Chalcots in the south. These lists will appear on the website in due course.

Observations and queries gratefully received by Dr Peter Woodford

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