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ECR 60 12 03

Reference code

ECR 60 12 03


Estates administration: Lease books



Administrative / Biographical history

Until 1457 a single book was used to record all instruments issued under the College seal and also significant letters received. In 1457 a separate register was started for more formal documents and the existing volume was used mainly for matters to do with land, although an overlap continued for some time and the volume remained something of a hybrid. When the early lease books were numbered at the time they were rebound in the early eighteenth century it was treated as the first of them and numbered 1 [ECR 60/3/1]. Generally speaking leases, conveyances, licences to alienate or sublet, deputations of stewards and similar matters will be found only in the lease books after 1457 although register material, at least until the end of the fifteenth century, may be in either series. Even after that date if an expected item cannot be found it is always worth checking the registers. The original covers of the rebound volumes now form flyleaves or paste-downs and were often used for a variety of jottings and scribblings which have not been separately noted. The dates on the spine labels are not always correct, possibly due to the binder taking the date of the summary heading of the first or last document, which is usually that of the date the lease began rather than the date of the document itself (eg 60/12/3/6 f.298). Items are generally enrolled in chronological order though in early volumes the sequence may be broken because the writer wanted to fill a space at the foot of a page. All volumes listed here have contemporary indexes but these should be used with some caution. There may be inaccuracies of date or spelling and in some cases the Arabic foliation has been misread. Also, items crossed out or marked 'vacat' in the text are not always cancelled in the index. From 60/12/3/3 onwards a rudimentary classification of types of document is used. From the 1730s the entries are signed by Fellows, intermittently at first then regularly. At first there are three signatories but increasingly only two, of whom the Provost is one, and finally the Provost alone. From 1892 plan tracings are inserted and in 60/12/3/28 the manuscript entry is occasionally replaced by a typed or printed copy pasted in. This gradually becomes the standard practice. A separate series of lease books for properties on the Chalcots estate was started in 1859 but from 1892 Chalcots leases again appear in the main series. It appears that leases were no longer enrolled from the mid-1970s.


1529 - 1976

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Number 3 of 13 at this Level

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