Dixon-Johnson Papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 33 DIX
  • Dates of Creation
      1595-1892; predominantly mid 17th to mid 19th centuries
  • Language of Material
      English ; Latin
  • Physical Description
      2 metres

Scope and Content

Deeds relating to lands of various tenures mainly in Co. Durham, some of which belonged to Durham Bishopric estates, which papers they complement. Besides title deeds there are some 18th and 19th century plans of Ryhope, a few books containing estate memoranda, and some farm leases. The material and dates concerned are:

  • 1673-1833 - Tithes of Ryhope, Co. Durham
  • 1595-1892 - Ryhope deeds, land.
  • 1726-1800 - Ryhope, deeds, a cottage
  • 1670-1906 - Books, plans, vouchers relating to William Scurfield's land at Ryhope
  • 1653-1868 - Hamsterley deeds
  • 1653-1877 - Lynesack, Softley, West Auckland, etc., deeds
  • 1623-1855 - Miscellanea
  • 1694-1762 - Christopher Johnson's Book

Christopher Johnson's Book is a volume (now rebound in 5) of lawyer's working papers and precedents, containing 175 copies, drafts, etc., relating to Co. Durham. The numbering of the items (1555-1708, with some discrepancies) implies that it was once part of a larger series. It contains three main groups of material, drawn from local examples:

  • Fines and recoveries
  • Business transacted by George Baker (d. 1774) of Elemore Hall, Co. Durham
  • Marriage settlements

Administrative / Biographical History

The Dixon and Johnson families, were united in 1749 by the marriage of Christopher Johnson and Tabitha Dixon. The descent of the family name has taken both forms, as Johnson and Dixon-Johnson, the latter being formally taken in the later nineteenth century (although still appearing in unhyphenated form). As well as the legal profession and land in Co. Durham, the family later acquired coal-mining interests, and built Aykley Heads House to the west of Durham City.


See Scope and content.

Access Information

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Deposited in 1950 and 1972 by Major C.J. Dixon-Johnson. Christopher Johnson's Book was acquired separately in 1981, by purchase from M. Finlay.

Other Finding Aids

Online catalogue available at online catalogue.

Separated Material

Durham County Record Office: D/X 4SS/1, a volume from a series of Dixon-Johnson lawyer's working papers, probably of the same series as Christopher Johnson's Book.

Tyne and Wear Archives Service: Accession 739/1, a volume of plans and memoranda of estate farms at Ryhope etc., ca. 1798-1825, with some Dixon-Johnson material.

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 PG.Library@durham.ac.uk) 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.

Related Material

British Records Association Deposit 965: 9 items from late 19th century, mentioning F. Dixon-Johnson.

Durham Bishopric Halmote Court: Add. plan 57e is a tracing from a plan showing C. F. Dixon-Johnson's freeholds and copyholds at West Auckland.

Fenwick (Hylton) papers: Largely concerned with the Goodchild bankruptcy (see Ryhope Tithes section).

Additional MSS, temporary references SR. 18. B/C (1623-1753) and SR. 18.B/C (1743-47): Two volumes of lawyers working papers and precedents compiled by John Dixon of Aykley Heads and others, mid-18th century.