Bundles of Deeds

Scope and Content

It was the policy of successive owners of Dunham Massey to consolidate their estates in Bowdon parish by purchasing properties which were offered for sale at a reasonable price, particularly those which would enhance the value of the existing estates (by filling in gaps and uniting fragmented holdings) and those which might be developed for building purposes. The owners of Dunham Massey were especially energetic in purchasing messuages, cottages and land in Altrincham, but they also acquired property in other townships within Bowdon parish, such as Bollington, Bowdon, Carrington, Dunham Massey, Hale, Partington and Timperley. In the period 1819-39 the Earls of Stamford also purchased several estates in Millington (EGR14/1/42-47).

The vast majority of deed bundles relate to purchases of property by George Booth (1675-1758), 2nd Earl of Warrington, his daughter Mary, Countess of Stamford (1704-72), George Harry Grey (1737-1819), 5th Earl of Stamford, and George Harry Grey (1765-1845), 6th Earl of Stamford. Generally, each bundle relates to a single property transaction and contains the final conveyance to the owner of Dunham Massey and earlier evidences of title which were transferred with the property.

Individual documents include conveyances by lease and release, bargain and sale, feoffments and grants; final concords and exemplifications of common recoveries; conveyances to make tenants to the precipe for the purpose of suffering common recoveries; deeds to lead or declare the uses of fines; settlements; mortgages, deeds of further charges, assignments of mortgages and assignments of terms of years in trust to attend the inheritance in order to extinguish the mortgage interest; leases for lives and leases for years; declarations of trust; bonds for performance; copies of wills and letters of administration; and abstracts of title.

Arrangement

The majority of the bundles are annotated "No. 1" etc., boldly written in blue pencil on the wrapper or uppermost piece. The numbers were probably applied in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. However, there are many gaps in the numerical sequence, while numerous bundles are unnumbered; it is possible that some bundles may originally have been numbered on the wrappers, which have not survived. While there is no obvious rationale behind the numbering system, the numbered bundles have been arranged and listed according to their original order, followed by the unnumbered bundles (EGR14/1/57-80), which have been arranged in the order of their accession. The final three bundles contain draft and copy deeds and papers.