Medieval Deeds in the Mellish Collection, c.1160-1361, with a letter from Napoleon Buonaparte [Bonaparte], 1790

Administrative / Biographical History

This small group of documents forms part of the larger Mellish archive. They relate to grants by the de Vere family, Earls of Oxford, and their tenants, to the Priories of Earls Colne and Hatfield, Essex. Both priories were founded by members of the de Vere family in the twelfth century. The de Veres do not appear to have any obvious connection with the Mellish family. A charter of 1220-21 of Robert de Vere of a gift of the church of Abington, Cambridgeshire to the monks of Hatfield Regis, Essex, which was amongst an earlier deposit of Mellish papers was thought to be present as a result of the antiquarian activities of Charles Mellish (1737-1797).


The deeds are arranged according to priory and chronologically within these two divisions.

Access Information

Accessible to all readers.

Other Finding Aids

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

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: Typescript Catalogue

At the National Register of Archives, The National Archives, Kew: Typescript Catalogue


Catalogue available on the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

Access to the old typescript catalogue was also made available online during the national Access to Archives (A2A) project in 2000-2004. This catalogue is now available through Discovery, hosted by The National Archives ( The version on our own Manuscripts Online Catalogue will be more up to date.

Family and Estate Resource relating to the Mellish family and their records, published on the Manuscripts and Special Collections website:

Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.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

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

Custodial History

The deeds were discovered in Hodsock Priory some time after the initial transfer of Mellish family material to Nottingham University Library. The documents were received by the Library in 1980, and placed with the earlier Mellish papers. A letter from Napoleon Buonaparte is listed with the deeds. Although there is no direct connection between the letter and the deeds, it was discovered at Hodsock in the same box and transferred to the University Library at the same time.