Legal formulary and related texts, undated, 17th century-1718

Scope and Content

This manuscript legal book, soft bound and covered with a fragment of medieval liturgicalmanuscript, contains some 80 pages of manuscript text. The volume is written in several differenthands and at some point, it has been inverted and blank pages at the back have been used. The mainpart of the text contains details of legal cases while the rear portion contains notes from officialand historical records. A loose list of the names of sheriffs of Essex from 1661 to 1718 survivesinside the front cover.

Several pages of dated memoranda by George Andrewes are included, from 1668 to 1710, particularlyconcerning political events and appointments, deaths and other events involving senior legalofficers. The final entries appear to be by Andrewes' son, and include a description of the AuroraBorealis on 6 March 1716.

Administrative / Biographical History

The origin and history of the collection of material in this volume has not been fully recorded.It appears to have fulfilled different purposes at different times and several hands were involvedin its creation. The common theme is court action or legal precedent, particularly in the county ofEssex. The compilers were probably men engaged in the practice of law and the earliest casesrecorded appear to date from the reign of James I. The medieval liturgical fragment in which thetexts have been bound has not been identified, but suggests an early date for the physical creationof the volume.

Two names of ownership are recorded on the volume. Henry Agas gives his name with the data 1709,but nothing further is known of him. The name 'George Andrewes junior' appears on the inverted backpage of the volume, and a note in the volume states that George Andrewes, father of the writer, diedon 24 May 1710, only days after his last entry in the volume. From this note we can at leastidentify the author of various memoranda recorded in the volume. Whether the writer might have beenthe barrister George Andrews (fl 1776), who is recorded in Dictionary of National Biography,is not clear.


No archival arrangement has been necessary.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

LANGUAGE: Latin, English

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of the volume must be sought in advance in writingfrom the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

Custodial History

It is not known when this volume came to Nottingham from its Essex provenance. By chance itbecame associated with the Archdeaconry of Nottingham. It came from this source to the Library ofUniversity College in 1943.