This collection was given to the John Rylands Library by Lewis Hadfield Orford in 1968.
It consists mainly of the papers of various local families and their estates, such as title deeds, personal accounts, residuary papers and correspondence.
The first family is that of Brewis, landed gentry whose papers consist of title deeds relating to land in Blackley, Cheetham and Broughton, (near Manchester), and to the family seat of Ibstone House, Tetworth (Bucks. & Oxon.). Many of the documents relate to the Scholes family, who previously held much of the Manchester estate.
The second group comprises the papers of the Oldham family. These are mainly residuary papers, correspondence and copy deeds concerning the settlement of the estate of Mr J.L. Oldham after the death of his main beneficiary. There is a large amount of correspondence between his executors and the parties involved, detailed accounts for the estate, bundles of receipts, copies of the relevant birth, death and marriage certificates, and declarations made by witnesses. The title deeds relate to various properties in Stockport, namely two cotton mills and the surrounding land, and various houses built by Charles Henry Oldham in 1903.
The third set of documents consists mainly of the residuary papers of Mrs Enriquetta Augustina Rylands, who died in 1908. It includes Inland Revenue forms, the accounts of the executors with receipts and correspondence attached, papers relating to the memorial monument for the Rylands family, photographs, plans and documents concerning the building of the John Rylands Library, and deeds and papers concerning properties owned by Mrs Rylands and sold after her death. Lewis Orford acted as Mrs Rylands' solicitor during her lifetime, and became one of the trustees of her estate after her death.
An unsorted group of title deeds relates to land at Richard's Castle, Brimfield and Staunton Lacy, in Herefordshire and Shropshire (in the environs of Ludlow). Dating from 1710 and concerning various different parcels of land in the area, the bulk of the deeds seem to be connected with the Taylor family.
The penultimate, and largest, group of deeds and papers relates to the White family, who held land in Manchester and its surrounding area (Sale, Cheetwood, Salford, Gorton, Levenshulme and King Street in the City centre), Audley in Staffordshire, and Mapesbury manor (prebendary) and land at Bethnal Green in Middlesex.
Lastly, there are two bundles of deeds for an estate at Hollingworth, Cheshire, partially owned by Miss Clara Lees, which prove her title to part of the property.
The collection had been roughly ordered into the papers of various families, and it is to be assumed that this arrangement represented in some way the original order of the documents. Thus they have been arranged much the same way in this list.