The Potter Collection of Deeds and Records, c.1200-1855

Scope and Content

The collection is made up of over 200 legal documents, dating from c.1200 through to 1855, and relating mainly to the counties of Derbyshire and Leicestershire. Although there is a number of small groups of related documents, the majority of documents have apparently come from many different sources and have no obvious association. An exception is the deeds and leases concerning land in the manors of Market Bosworth and Cadeby, Leicestershire; all the Leicestershire material relates to the Dixie family of Market Bosworth.

Among the earliest documents are a charter of Reginald, Prior of Repton, relating to Willington, Derbyshire (c. 1230) and a charter of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster to the Church at Dore (1276). Other records range from fifteenth-century charters of Abney, Derbyshire, to eighteenth-century court roll copies relating to land in the manor of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Leases, bonds and copy wills are also present.

Administrative / Biographical History

This Collection of historical records was created by Colonel W. A. Potter of Lambley House Nottinghamshire, and takes its name from the donor. Their earlier provenance is unknown.

Colonel Potter was educated at Uppingham School and Cirencester Agricultural College. He served in France during the First World War, and was awarded the D.S.O. in 1917. He was associated with the Army Service Corps for more than forty years.

His work in agriculture involved him in a number of organizations, including the Nottinghamshire Farmers Union and the Midland Agricultural College at Sutton Bonington (now part of the University of Nottingham). Official responsibilities over the years included the offices of J.P., Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff. From 1931 he was for twenty years chairman of the board of Thos. Forman and Sons Ltd.

A keen follower of local history interests, and particularly matters relating to land tenure, he became chairman of the Thoroton Society in 1932. His active support included practical assistance in its publication of local records. He himself built up an extensive library of genealogical and local historical resources.


Documents are listed in a single numerical sequence, within which they have been arranged according to county, sub-divided by place, and given in chronological order.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers

REPROGRAPHIC: Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • In the Reading Room, University of Nottingham Library: Typescript Catalogue, 50 pp
  • At the National Register of Archives, London: Typescript Catalogue, 50 pp

Separated Material

  • Deeds, estate papers and manorial records of the Dixie Family, baronets, of Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, can be found at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland.

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email ). The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

LANGUAGE: English.

Custodial History

The collection was presented to Nottingham University by Colonel W. A. Potter in 1948.


The charters for Abney, Derbyshire have been published in Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, 34, January 1912, pp 67-74.