44 volumes of transcripts of public and private records chiefly relating to Lancashire. Also, original documents. With a 3 volume index.
Information believed to have been gathered by Raines during his Milnrow incumbency, 1832-1878.
The Lancashire Manuscripts contain F. R. Raines's working notes for many of his significant Chetham Society publications, including the transcript of Bishop Gastrell's Notitia Cestriensis, The Vicars of Rochdale, and The Rectors of Manchester and Wardens of the Collegiate Church. Furthermore, the manuscripts contain large amounts of material which can not be located elsewhere. Many of the deeds which Raines copied from private muniments have never been published and are now lost. Even some of the public archives which he transcribed, such as the court rolls of the manor of Rochdale, or the survey of the manor of Rochdale of 1626, have not survived. The result is that many of the Raines volumes have become primary historical sources in their own right.
It should be noted that, like all antiquarians, Raines had a partiality towards the gentry. The Lancashire Manuscripts are concerned more with property and the transfer of land than with political issues or with the history of common people.
The following list provides a short introduction to the contents of the volumes. Researchers should consult the index volumes for further detail.