The Prebendal Manor of Horley and Hornton is thought to have developed from a 10-hide estate mentioned in Domesday Book. It was originally held by Robert, Count of Mortain. The estate was leased by the Crown until 1609 when it was granted to Sir Robert Brett, a gentleman usher of the Privy Chamber. Brett immediately sold the manor to Richard Light, who already held other land in the area. In 1624 the manor was sold by Light to John Austin, who subsequently settled it on his son Robert. The manor stayed in the hands of the Austin family for several generations, until John Austin of Drayton sold it to Edward Metcalfe in 1741. Following Metcalfe's death the manor passed to a relative by marriage, John Metcalfe Wardle. The manor was then sold to Daniel Stuart in 1828 and was sold again in 1892 to James Stockton, a Banbury solicitor.
The records in this collection indicate the activities of the manor from the eighteen century onwards. Earlier court rolls are believed to have been lost during the Civil War. Unusually, the records which make up this collection have come from a variety of sources; the largest proportion of the records come from the Stockton and Fortescue solicitors' collection. As solicitors collections are essentially artificially created collections, the decision was taken to split these records from the rest of the Stockton and Fortescue collection and catalogue it with manorial records from other depositors. This has turned out to be a judicious decision, as the combined records form an almost unbroken sequence, particularly with regard to the court rolls (M5/CR1) and financial records (M5/F). A conspectus is provided at the end of the catalogue so that the provenance of those items from the Stockton and Fortescue collectioon can be easily traced.
In addition to the records taken from the Stockton and Fortescue collection, the collection is formed from three further accessions; 607 (thought to have been deposited in the 1930s), 5128 (May 2003) and 5230 (January 2004).
Catalogued by Hannah Jones, December 2007.