This document was deposited via the British Records Association in 1940 as accession 77. It was recatalogued in July 1994.
The manor of Witney was granted to the Bishops of Winchester in the 11th century and, apart from short periods in the 16th and 17th centuries, belonged to them until 1862, when the reversion of the lease of the manor and borough was sold to the Dukes of Marlborough. The manor had been leased from the 14th century, and from the late 15th century until well into the 17th century, the lease was held by members of the Brice family. Subsequently, the lease passed to more powerful Lords and was purchased by the Duke of Marlborough in 1751.
There were distinct courts for Witney manor and Witney Borough. Witney Manor dealt largely with transfers of copyhold land and regulation of agriculture, while the borough court was mainly
concerned with town regulations.
Oxfordshire Archives also holds the court books of the Borough of Witney, 1538-1610 (MS. D. D. Par. Witney d.1 and d.2). These have been edited by James Bolton and Marjorie Maslen for the
Oxfordshire Record Society (Oxfordshire Record Society volume 54, 1985) and the introduction to this volume contains information about the manorial as well as the borough court. Other material
relating to the Manor of Witney is held in the archives of the Bishopric of Winchester in the Hampshire record Office and the Blenheim Palace muniments.