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Manorial Documents: Highlights from Leeds University Library Special Collections

Join us for a drop-in session to view some of the extensive range of manorial documents in Special Collections at the University of Leeds.

Special Collections staff will be in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery with a selection of highlights from the collections for delegates to examine close up.

Manorial documents are an invaluable source of information about ordinary people’s lives from the 13th to the 16th century. Many aspects of daily life were regulated by manors - administrative units with their own courts. The lord of the manor’s powers included the transfer of land, the administration of justice and the resolution of issues relating to communal agriculture. Officials recorded court proceedings in manorial documents which are now a rich resource for economic, social and geographic research.

Many of the manorial documents held by Special Collections are part of the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society collection which is on long term deposit. Of particular interest are the extensive series of court rolls of the manor of Wakefield (1274-1925) and records in the Skipton Castle Collection. Manorial documents from other collections including Wentworth Woolley Hall and John Wilson of Broomhead will also be on view.