Commonplace Book of Robert Hassall

  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 202
  • Dates of Creation
      16th to 17th Century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      294 x 192 mm. 1 volume (78 folios);

Scope and Content

The varied contents of this commonplace book include interesting entries relating to the history and customs of Kent; the names of the Mayors and Sheriffs of Chester (1326-1612), with notes; many pieces of verse, including a poem Uppon the death of Robert Devereux late Erle of Essex, etc. and A treatise of the famous and renowned Stanleys; notes on legal proceedings, etc. Later hands inserted notes on the pedigree of the family of Leche of Carden, 1584-1711.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Leche family held property in Carden near Chester as early as 1346/7, when Eva Warin released land to John Leche I and his wife Lucy, her sister. Their son, John Leche II, is said to have been surgeon to Edward III and been given Castle Warin and other lands in County Kildare. The manor of Over Carden passed to a younger branch of the Fittons of Bollin by the marriage of Isabel, daughter of William Caurthyn to Thomas Fitton. In the 15th century a portion of Carden was in the ownership of William de Caurthyn. His daughter and coheir Eleanor was married to John Leche III, claimed by some to have been a younger brother of the Leche family of Chatsworth, and the manor of Nether Carden was vested in her.

The lineage of the Leche family is as follows: John Leche (1561-1591); John Leche (1586-1644) [possibly the first recorded Leche owner]; John Leche (1614-1657); John Leche (1642-1711); John O Leche (1675-1731); John Leche (1704-1765); William Leche (1734-1817); John Hurleston Leche (1805-1844); John Hurleston Leche (1827-1903) [probably the second recorded Leche owner]; Sir John Hurleston Leche (1889-1960); John Hurleston Leche (1933-1989); and John Hurleston Leche (b. 1961). The estate was disposed of c 1985.

Access Information

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the John Rylands Library by C.L. Ricketts in December 1922.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan and Jo Humpleby, project archivists, with reference to

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 202).

Custodial History

Former owners: John Leeche; Thomas Babbington; found at Carden 1885 and rebound 1886; J.H. Leche, Carden Park, Chester; C.L. Ricketts.

Related Material

Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies Service holds the Leche of Carden collection (ref.: GB 0017 DLE).