Smith, Roddam Papers

Scope and Content

Part 1 consists of two boxes containing five packets of deeds relating to properties in the market-place, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, including the Angel Inn, and to numbers 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 Fore Bondgate, Bishop Auckland, 18th-20th centuries. These properties had been purchased by Smith, Roddam and the modern deeds relating to them have been retained by the practice.

Part 2 Consists of fourteen boxes of documents accumulated by Smith, Roddam and their predecessor practices. The bulk of them consist of deeds which are no longer required by the solicitors in order to prove title but which are of historical interest. Most of the deeds relate to Co. Durham, in particular to the Bishop Auckland region and to various estates in Wolsingham parish. There are also small quantities of deeds relating to Westmorland and North Yorkshire, and a small group of Bruce family deeds, 19th-20th centuries, including items relating to the solicitors' practice of Trotter, Bruce and Trotter of Bishop Auckland.

The remaining contents of the collection consist of letters of ordination for George Hodgson (York), 1748 and 1749, and Luke Harrison (Durham), 1754, and a printed poster for an auction sale in Bishop Auckland Town Hall, 1892.

Administrative / Biographical History

The firm of Smith, Roddam, solicitors of 56 North Bondgate, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, and also based at Shildon and Crook, Co. Durham (formerly known as Smith, Roddam & Co.) was formed in ca. 1967-1968 following an amalgamation between the firms of Trotter, Bruce & Loft, and Proud, Robinson & Roddam (the senior partner of the former firm was called Smith).

Trotter, Bruce & Loft were in practice at North Bondgate (subsequently described as 56 North Bondgate), Bishop Auckland from at least 1902 until ca. 1967/8. In the 1950s they joined with Proud, Robinson & Roddam but the two firms kept their separate names.

A nineteenth century predecessor practice of Trotter, Bruce & Loft which features in the collection was Trotter, Bruce & Trotter of North Bondgate, Bishop Auckland.


Part 1 These documents have been provisionally arranged by place and boxed but they have not yet been fully sorted or listed at item level.

Part 2 The deeds have been provisionally arranged and boxed by county, and within each county alphabetically by place, but they have not yet been fully sorted. For the time being the wills found with the deeds have been treated as deeds and filed under the place to which they chiefly refer, although it may be that on closer inspection it might prove more appropriate to file at least some of them in a separate sequence. The county sequences of deeds are followed by the Bruce family deeds, letters of ordination and poster described above.

Conditions Governing Access

Until the arrangement of the collection has been finalised, and its contents listed, these documents may only be consulted by prior arrangement.

Acquisition Information

Part 1 Deposited with the Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic of the University of Durham (since 1990 part of the Archives and Special Collections department of Durham University Library) on 16 July 1987 by Smith, Roddam, solicitors, of 56 North Bondgate, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham through Mr A.N. Fairclough, a partner in the practice.

Part 2 Donated on 23 August 1994 by Smith, Roddam, solicitors, of 56 North Bondgate, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham through Mrs. K. Hussey.

Other Finding Aids

Part 1 There is a summary manuscript box-list indicating the places covered by the contents of each box and the present (temporary) box numbers.

Part 2 The documents have not yet been listed at item level. There is, however, a summary manuscript box-list indicating the places or subjects covered by the contents of each box and the present (temporary) box numbers.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Personal Names