Book containing transcripts of the Court Rolls of the Manor of Slaidburn published

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A new and substantial e-book containing transcripts of the court rolls of the Manor of Slaidburn has just been published.

Translated and transcribed by Christopher John Spencer BSc ARCS. The Manor of Slaidburn had jurisdiction across the Liberty of Bowland which comprised the townships of Slaidburn, Newton in Bowland, Easington, Grindleton, West Bradford, Waddington, Mitton, Bashall, Bowland Forest Higher and Lower, and Bowland with Leagram.

The manorial courts were held in the court house in Slaidburn and the proceedings were recorded on parchment rolls now preserved in the Lancashire Archives.

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There are almost three hundred rolls covering the years 1515-1781, as well as a much earlier roll for 1392-1393. The court rolls are mostly written in abbreviated Latin up until 1733, but the rolls’ contents have been translated into English in these transcripts.

A box containing some of the Slaidburn court rollsA box containing some of the Slaidburn court rolls
A box containing some of the Slaidburn court rolls

The court rolls record infringements of manorial laws such as fishing in the Hodder and taking the monarch’s fish, unmade fences and hedges, affrays, cattle trespassing, etc. The contents of the rolls give a fascinating insight into daily life in the manor in centuries gone by. The rolls also acted as a ‘deeds registry’ recording conveyances of land in the townships of Slaidburn, Newton, Grindleton and West Bradford.

It is often possible to trace the ownership history of a farm in these townships over many centuries. This Volume 1 of the rolls is 1210 pages long and includes comprehensive indexes for people named in the rolls, placenames and miscellanea. For anyone researching Bowland’s local history or the genealogy of its inhabitants, the court rolls are an essential primary source.

Two further volumes will follow later covering the years up to 1781. Copies are available for purchase for £25 from Slaidburn Archive, please send a cheque for £25 to Slaidburn Archive, 25 Church Street, Slaidburn, Clitheroe, BB7 3ER together with an email address for the e-book in pdf format to be sent to.

Alternatively contact the Slaidburn Archive at [email protected] if wishing to pay by bank transfer.