Records of the Brigg Court of the Lincolnshire Commissioners of Sewers, 1725-1940

Scope and Content

The bulk of the records date from the mid-nineteenth century up to the transfer of the Court's powers in 1940. They include original commissions of sewers, bearing the sovereign's signature (1860-1904), minute books (1725-1940) and accounts (1855-1940). There are maps and plans (1846-1940) detailing proposals for drains and water supply. Correspondence and miscellaneous papers (1762-1940) cover a wide variety of subjects related to the work of the Court, including complaints, appointments and financial matters.

Administrative / Biographical History

The 'Commissioners of Sewers for the Limits of the Levels in the County of Lincoln, City of Lincoln and County of the said City and part of the County of Nottingham' had a jurisdiction over drainage in parts of the Wapentakes of Manley, Corringham and Aslacoe in north Lincolnshire. In 1875 they were responsible for the east bank of the River Trent from Gainsborough to the Humber, low-lying areas along the River Eau and the Bottesford Beck, and the south bank of the Humber from Trent Falls to the River Ancholme.

Commissioners of Sewers were empowered to hold courts which had oversight of maintenance of waterworks, drainage schemes, banks etc. in their area. Local people were obliged to pay taxes or assessments to pay for such schemes. The earliest minute book in the collection dates back to 1725. This recorded Courts of Sewers held for the Wapentakes of Manley, Corringham and Aslacoe, plus the Wapentakes of Walshcroft, Bradley Haverstow and Yarborough. Courts for the first three Wapentakes only appear to have begun sitting in 1741. The court for Manley, Corringham and Aslacoe Wapentakes was normally held in Scotter until the 1830s, at the George Inn in Kirton in Lindsey from 1834 to 1859, and in Brigg (also known as Glamford Brigg) from the 1850s onwards. The Clerk to the Commissioners had been based at Brigg since at least 1802.

In April 1940 the powers of the Court of Sewers were transferred to the River Trent Catchment Board. This was succeeded in 1951 by the Trent River Board, and in 1965 by the Trent River Authority.


Material is arranged chronologically within series subdivided by form (e.g. correspondence, accounts).

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

2 Typescript Catalogues; 13 pp and 7 pp

At the National Register of Archives, London:

2 Typescript Catalogues; 13 pp and 7 pp

On the World Wide Web:

Catalogue accessible from the website for Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

Conditions Governing Use

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

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 Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The records came to the University Library as two separate accessions. The first from the Trent River Board in 1961, and the second from the Severn Trent Water Authority in 1975.

Related Material

Manuscripts and Special Collections also holds records of the Severn Trent Water Authority and certain other predecessor bodies (Ref: RC, RE, RG, RT, RTF, RH and RHR). Also records of the Hatfield Chase Corporation (HCC) and the Trent Navigation Company (RtN).

Lincolnshire Archives.