Customs of copyholders, Sir John Ferrers vs. Richard Creswell, ca.1620, L.e.967

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This article features a transcription of a Folger Shakespeare Library manuscript, Customs of copyholders, Sir John Ferrers v. Richard Creswell, L.e.967, (ca.1620) featured in the Age of Lawyers Exhibition, September 12, 2015-January 3, 2016.

More manuscripts from this collection can be found in Guide to the Papers of the Ferrers Family of Tamworth Castle

Produced for a lawsuit, this document explains how the manorial records of Tettenhall Regis were supposed to be kept: in a locked chest in the parish church. Churches were often the only stone public building, and thus the safest from fire. One of two keys was held by the lord and the other by someone representing the tenants. The reality, it notes, was rather different. Most of this manor's records were held by the steward, an attorney who worked for the lord.


Below is a semi-diplomatic transcription of Folger manuscript L.e.967. The transcription below was created by the Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) project. To access an image of the original leaf, click on each transcription's heading.



In libro ordinat, sive decret de Termi[n]o

sancti Michaelmis Anno decimo tercio Regis Iacobi

in Scaccario remaneum ac in custodis Rememorat

Regis ibidem existeum inter alia contineum

inter alia continetur ut sequitur singulis suis


Suffolk Whereas in the matter dependinge in this

Cort by English bill betweene Sir John fferrers

Knight plaintiff and Richard Creswell and Richard

Wilkes defendentes being for and concerninge the

Customes of the Copie hould ten[a]ntes of the mannor

Of Tetnall Regis in the County of Staffordshire

at yssue and ready for hearinge forasmuch as

Mr Weston of Councell which the defendentes hath

this day informed the Cort that there bee divers

Cort Rolls of the said mannor remayninge in

a Chest in the parish Church of Tetnall and

that to the same Chest doe belonge two keys