Manorial Records

Sarah Charlton

5th May 2018

Conference Suite, Main Hall at St Andrew's Hospital, Billing Road, Northampton

Manorial records have an aura of mystery around them and remain one of the most underused series of records.  Yet they span eight centuries and can provide fascinating insights into the lifestyle of our forebears and provided a form of local government in rural areas long before the arrival of the vestry in the 16th century. This talk will outline the lifecycle of the manorial system from its beginnings at the time of the Norman Conquest to its demise in 1925, its mode of operation, the types of record it produced and what sort of information they contain.  Following on from a two year study of Northamptonshire’s manorial records the talk will be illustrated with Northamptonshire examples and pick up on three aspects which are peculiar to the county, namely the relationship with hundred courts, the manors of Peterborough Abbey, and Lord Montagu’s resuscitation of his manor, honour and hundred courts in the early 18th century.

Sarah Charlton started her career as an archivist at Buckinghamshire County Record Office in 1985 and worked there on and off for 30 years.  She has also been heavily involved with the National Archives’ revision of the Manorial Documents Register and last year completed the Northamptonshire section of this. She currently works as a free-lance archivist for two London estates and has just finished cataloguing a large collection of Baptist church records held at Dunstable.

This lecture followed the Annual General Meeting of the Society.

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