Jodrell Muniments

  • Reference
      GB 133 JOD
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      Latin , English  and French
  • Physical Description
      1.5 linear metres; 159 items.
  • Location
      Collection available at The John Rylands Library, Deansgate.

Scope and Content

The Jodrell Muniments primarily comprise deeds and allied documents such as grants, final concords, releases, leases, surrenders, extracts of court rolls and letters of attorney. These relate to the following properties in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and elsewhere:

Cheshire: Disley in Stockport parish, 1351-1731; Kettleshulme in Prestbury parish, 1368-1631; Macclesfield Forest, 1308-1620; Overton in Malpas parish, 1603; Taxal, 1339-1733; Twemlow in Sandbach parish, 1661; and Yeardsley cum Whaley in Taxal parish, early 14th cent.-1657.

Derbyshire: Castleton, 1416; Hartington, 1286; Hayfield, 1362; Makeney in Milford parish, n.d.

Lancashire: Chatburn in Whalley parish, 1598-1694.

Staffordshire: Marchington, 1382; Tunstall, 1517; Waterfall, 1386.

Yorkshire: Waddington, 1342.

Jodrell family papers include wills, inventories of goods, bonds and covenants, marriage articles and settlements, commissions in the militia, and a small quantity of correspondence. There are also papers relating to Edmund Jodrell's two terms as sheriff of Cheshire in 1650-1 and 1670-1.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Jodrell family of Yeardsley, Cheshire, traced their ancestry to one William Jaudrell, an archer under Edward the Black Prince, Earl of Chester, in the French wars in the mid-fourteenth century. At the time of his death he held lands at Yeardsley cum Whaley, Disley, and Kettleshulme, Cheshire. His son, Roger Joudrell (as the name was then spelt) was one of the four Esquires of the King's body in the reign of Richard II. In 1393-4 he was granted an estate at Whiston, Leicestershire, by Thomas de Mowbray, Earl Marshal, and served with the latter at Agincourt. By the late fifteenth century the family was known as Jodrell. In the reign of Henry VII Roger Jodrell of Yeardsley acquired estates at Twemlow by marriage to Ellen, daughter and co-heir of Roger Knutsford. The Jodrell family then made their home at the Twemlow estate. The family later intermarried with the Burdett family of Foremarsh, the Molyneuxs of Teversall and other ancient families.

In the eighteenth century the Twemlow estate passed to the Leigh of High Legh family, following the marriage of Elizabeth, younger daughter of Francis Jodrell, to Egerton Leigh in 1778. Her elder sister and heiress to the Yeardsley estate, Frances Jodrell, married John Bower of Manchester, who then assumed the surname Jodrell. John Bower Jodrell was succeeded by his son, Francis, in 1796. He died in 1829 and his two sons, who succeeded him, both died without issue. Thus in June 1868 the estate passed to Thomas Jodrell Phillips-Jodrell (1807-1889), the nephew of Francis Jodrell, who owned an estate at Shallcross, Derbyshire. Phillips-Jodrell died without issue and was succeeded by his nephew, Henry Richard Tomkinson, who made a deed of gift and was in turn succeeded by his nephew, Sir Edward Thomas Davenant Cotton-Jodrell (1847-1917). He was MP for Wirral 1885-1900 and served on the Headquarters Staff of the War Office 1906-1912 (he had assumed the surname Jodrell by Royal Licence in 1890). He was succeeded in 1917 by his eldest daughter, Dorothy Lynch Ramsden-Jodrell, who had married Colonel Henry Ramsden in 1902. She assumed the name and arms of Jodrell by Royal Licence in 1920.

The Jodrell Trust estates, comprising over 3000 acres in Yeardsley, Shallcross and Taxal in Whaley Bridge, were sold by auction on 14 November 1923.


The archive was arranged in 1835 by Charles Devon of the Chapter House, Record Office, Westminster, into two sequences: records in which the name Jodrell is found; and records in which the name is not found. The first series was arranged by Devon in chronological order and numbered 1-104. The second series was not numbered by Devon, but was arranged in approximate chronological order and numbered 200-302 on its arrival at the Library. It is unclear how items JOD/135 and JOD/142 fitted into this scheme.

In Fawtier's published handlist of 1923, items were arranged alphabetically under the names of the places to which they refer, effectively creating a geographical index to the archive. Jodrell family papers not relating to a specific locality were listed under 'Jodrell (family)' within this alphabetical arrangement.

When the archive was recatalogued in 2018, it was decided to revert to Devon's scheme, in order to reflect the physical arrangement of documents in the archive. Material relating to particular locations can of course be readily identified through online searches.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

The bulk of the archive was deposited in the John Rylands Library by Colonel and Mrs Ramsden-Jodrell in 1922. Items JOD/8, JOD/11, JOD/12, JOD/90 and JOD/91 were not deposited.

Additional material (not included in this catalogue) was deposited in August 1982.

Other Finding Aids

Published handlist, Robert Fawtier, Hand-List of the Mainwaring and Jodrell Manuscripts at present in the custody of the John Rylands Library (Manchester: John Rylands Library, 1923); unpublished outline list of additional material.

Conditions Governing Use

Photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

The archive was in the custody of the Jodrell family prior to its deposit in the John Rylands Library.

The archive was inspected and arranged in 1835 by Charles Devon of the Chapter House, Record Office, Westminster, into two sequences: records in which the name Jodrell is found (items JOD/1-104); and records in which the name does not occur (JOD/200-302), although some of these documents do in fact mention members of the Jodrell family. Each document was wrapped in a piece of paper on which a summary of its contents was recorded. In some cases several documents are enclosed within one wrapping: these are numbered 90a, 90b, etc. JOD/88 also carries the number JOD/95.


No further accruals are expected.


George Ormerod, The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester, 2nd edition revised by Thomas Helsby, 3 vols (London: Routledge, 1882), vol. 3, pp. 784-7.

Margaret Sharpe, 'A Jodrell Deed and the Seals of the Black Prince', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 7.1 (1922), 106-17.