Court records

Scope and Content

These court records include court baron books, reports from various courts related to Cavendish land and also some exceptional items such as the report from the Council of Kilkenny and the indentures of Richard Boothe. They are wide-ranging in their subject matter and format and range in date quite widely too. The printed proclamations are the only printed item in the collection and relate to decisions made in various courts on behalf of the monarch between 1540 and 1679.


The material here has been arranged roughly based on Strong's original listing, then chronologically and by type: general court records or records created for court are followed by the court books. It was decided not to make further sub-series for each of these types of material as they are somewhat ecclectic already and there are only eight items in the whole series, which are catalogued to detailed item level. They are probably a small representative sample of this type of material that might once have been at Hardwick and bear little relation to each other except through the link of the Cavendishes being involved in the royal court or owning or managing much of the land represented in these court records.

Custodial History

These court records are eclectic in their grouping. Most of the court records in this series relate to manors within the Cavendishes' estates. The court books of Yorkshire for example are both court baron records relating to manorial courts which the earls and later dukes of Devonshire would have presided over or been represented by a steward. It is possible that the link with these court records, like some of the memoranda books, is Richard Derrey (Derbyshire Receiver and Northern estates Bailiff in the 1650s) because some of these manors were part of land under Derrey's charge. It is not known how or when they became part of the Hardwick Manuscripts collection. Whilst some of them were listed by Eugenie Strong in 1905-8, the rolls in particular are not in HL/1 and were never given a reference number by Strong. It is not clear when they were first housed with the Hardwick Manuscripts.

Related Material

GB 2495 H/144/7 is a list of forfeits (paines) devised at the court baron for Rawthorne and Houghton, 1689.

Family Names