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On the Land
Documents recording property holding and the changing use of land over the centuries survive in family archives. Together with records about agriculture and labour, these now support the study of rural communities.
By a quitclaim deed of 1312 all rights in land held in medieval
Haughton, Nottinghamshire were relinquished in favour
of the new owner, Master Hugh. The property had been held
in dower by Agnes Lenham, supporting her as the widow of Robert
Lenham, and was subsequently sold by her son.
Such references to women are common in medieval deeds. Together with names of other parties and of witnesses these can build up a picture of communities.
The 'Observations on December' from Riders (1680) 'British Merlin' provides a sample of popular advice on husbandry in the late-17th century. Pocket books of this kind included details of fairs and markets. They had blank pages for the owner's own notes.
A plan of Muskham Grange and its estate was made in 1812 when the property came on the market. The accompanying printed particulars identify the features which were valued by auctioneers of the early 19th century. For the local historian, the detail of the lands and the names of the current tenants are useful.
Further sources relating to this subject area are held by Manuscripts and Special Collections at King's Meadow Campus. See our website for information about our collections and catalogues.