RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoED
Extentover 2,000 rolls, books and items
TitleEstate Documents
DescriptionRecords of the Archbishops' estates, particularly for Kent, Sussex and Surrey.

Also including courts and account rolls for Christ Church, Canterbury (both Prior and convent, and Dean and Chapter); a small group of rolls for the Prior and convent of Rochester and for the Kentish religious houses of Faversham, St Sexburga's Minster, St Augustine's Canterbury, and St Radegund's Dover, which were temporarily or permanently in archiepiscopal hands after the Dissolution; and a large group of accounts and court rolls of manors belonging to the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the Dean and Chapter of Wells, the Bishop of Chichester, the Bishop of Ely and the Prior and convent of Ely, the Bishop of Winchester and the Prior and convent of Winchester, the Bishop of Worcester and the Prior and convent of Worcester, and the Prior and convent of St Benet of Hulme, Norfolk.

Largely medieval.
AccrualsNot accruing
ArrangementThe Estate Documents were numbered sequentially 1-2073 and grouped as follows:
Christ Church Canterbury (Alta Curia, Campanile Court Rolls, Obedientiaries' Accounts, Treasurers' Accounts, includes Dean and Chapter) (ED 1-94);
Liberty of the Archbishop: accounts (ED 95-105);
Liberty of the Prior of Christ Church: accounts (ED 106-32);
Courts and accounts, arranged alphabetically by place (except no. 452) chiefly within Canterbury diocese but also dioceses of Bath and Wells, Chichester, Ely and Winchester, and convent of St Benet of Hulme, Norfolk (ED 133-1158);
Grouped collection of Court rolls: Dean and Chapter of Canterbury [Kent] (ED 1159-61); Archbishop [Kent] (ED 1162-75); Bishop of Bath and Wells [Somerset] (ED 1176-92);
Grouped accounts for Archiepiscopal Manors (ED 1193-1429);
Documents relating to Cartae Miscellaneae - some transferred (ED 1430-1558);
Commonwealth Presentation Deeds - all transferred to Commonwealth Papers (ED 1559-1773);
Archiepiscopal court rolls (Kent), Ministers' & Receivers' accounts (general), Liberty of the Archbishop (estreats) [rolls transferred by the Church Commissioners from the PRO in July 1959] (ED 1774-1881, 1884-93);
Archiepiscopal court rolls: Lambeth, Croydon & Waddon, Uckfield & Ringmer, & Mayfield account [rolls found in Morton's Tower among the records of the Vicar General in 1959] (ED 1895-1901);
Archiepiscopal court rolls: Lambeth, Croydon & Waddon, and Dover Priory [rolls transferred by the Church Commissioners in January 1960] (ED 1902-37, 1945-72, 1980-98, 2000-5);
Miscellaneous [documents found in the Crypt and Morton's Tower] (ED 2006-27);
Receiver General's accounts and Deal prebend accounts [documents transferred from Vicar General Temporalities] (ED 2028-42);
Miscellaneous [documents transferred from Cartae Miscellaneae] (ED 2043-67);
Archiepiscopal survey [purchased in 1963] (ED 2068);
Miscellaneous [documents found in 1963] (ED 2069-73).

Documents were classified under the owner of the manor at the time when the record was made, based on a system of classification by Mrs D. M. Owen.

Additional Estate Documents (ED 2074-2116) tie up closely with the account rolls and court rolls for the Archbishop's estates listed in Jane Sayers, Estate documents at Lambeth Palace Library, 1965.
FindingAidsCatalogue records based on J.E. Sayers, Estate documents at Lambeth Palace Library. A short catalogue (Leicester University Press, 1965), covering ED 1-2073. This publication includes a more detailed introduction to their custodial history and earlier finding aids. Earlier finding aids comprised the first, manuscript, catalogue of the records, "Catalogue of the Old Court Rolls, Computus Ballivorum & other ancient Deeds, Chartae etc. etc. preserved in the manuscript Library at Lambeth" made in 1762 by A. C. Ducarel for Archbishop Secker [see Library Records ref: LR/F/49], arranged chronologically; another copy is British Library, Add. MS. 5707, bequeathed by Sir William Burrell, the antiquary; A. J. Horwood's account (H.M.C. 6th Report, London, 1877, 522); new catalogue made for Archbishop Tait by a firm of record agents, listing 1773 documents: S. A. Moore and R. E. G. Kirk, "MS. Calendar of Court Rolls, Ministers' Accounts, Rentals & other Rolls and Documents preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth Palace" [now in Library Records: ref. LR/F/61], from which was published a summary, of court rolls only, in N. J. Hone, The Manor and Manorial Records [The Antiquary's Books, London, 1906], 285-97.

ED 2074-2116 catalogued by Melanie Barber (2002, unpublished typescript).
PhysicalDescriptionCourt rolls and books, account rolls, terriers, rentals, valors, and extents or surveys. ED 2074-2116: the records are mainly fragmentary and badly damaged, and in some cases, it has not been possible to identify the properties concerned with any degree of certainty. For a photograph showing the physical condition of the documents [c. 1991], see Library Records ref: LR/L/19/22.

Items are largely stored in sequence, mainly boxed (ED 1...1911) but some volumes (ED 1912...2073). However, some items stored out of sequence according to format (see locations database):
'Long Rolls' [LR boxes]
Flat oversize
Vouchers [shelved at end of bound series]
AdminHistoryThe separate court rolls gave way by 1511 to grouped ones for all the properties, although the keeping of separate rolls or books was not entirely superseded.

The earliest surviving account rolls for the archbishopric are in the form of general statements for all the properties, e.g. no. 1193 (dating from 1236-7). The old pipe roll form disappeared during the 1270s and was replaced by a great series of individual accounts for the separate manors. In Archbishop Pecham's time the manors were grouped in six bailiwicks and so began the series of ministers' rolls. Next a receiver was placed over one or more bailiwicks, and his accounts brought together the cash receipts from the local ministers. A further step was the appointment of a Steward of the Archbishop's Liberty. (On the development of the medieval financial system, see F. R. H. Du Boulay, "The Archbishop as Territorial Magnate", in Medieval Records of the Archbishop of Canterbury, London, 1962, 63-4.) At the beginning of Elizabeth's reign the division into bailiwicks was abolished. The whole of the ministers' accounts of the see were enrolled on one roll in each year, and at the same time a Receiver General was appointed whose yearly accounts comprised the whole see. The Receiver General administered the estates on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who remained a great temporal lord until the properties of the see were vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners on 6 September 1862, the day of the death of Archbishop Sumner.
CustodialHistoryOnce stored in Morton's Tower: H..J. Todd, A catalogue of the archiepiscopal manuscripts in the library at Lambeth Palace (1812), p. 270.

Some records were left behind in Morton's Tower at Lambeth Palace when the Ecclesiastical Commissioners took over the administration of the archiepiscopal estates and their records. Of other documents taken by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the late nineteenth century, those relating to Lambeth, Croydon and Waddon, and Dover Priory [nos. 1902-37,1945-72,1980-98,2000-5] were retained at their Millbank repository. The others, relating to archiepiscopal properties mainly grouped, and mainly in Kent [nos. 1774-1881 and 1884-93], were deposited by the Commissioners in 1889 at the Public Record Office, where they were numbered and listed. Both these two collections were brought back to Lambeth in July 1959 and January 1960. Further rolls and documents came to light subsequently. Additional CC references refer to the Church Commissioners' numbering.

The large group of accounts and court rolls of manors belonging to the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the Dean and Chapter of Wells, the Bishop of Chichester, the Bishop of Ely and the Prior and convent of Ely, the Bishop of Winchester and the Prior and convent of Winchester, the Bishop of Worcester and the Prior and convent of Worcester, and the Prior and convent of St Benet of Hulme, Norfolk, were in the Library when A.C. Ducarel made his list (now British Library, Additional MS. 5707) in 1762. The Bath and Wells documents may have come from Laud's brief tenure of that see [1626-8]; presumably also the Dean and Chapter of Wells' rolls. Those of Norwich, which are chiefly and possibly entirely of manors once belonging to St Benet of Hulme, which with its possessions was granted by Henry VIII to the Bishop of Norwich in 1536, must have come in with several papal bulls in MSS. Tenison 643-644 and with the charters of that house which are included in Cartae Miscellaneae and which seem to have appeared in the period of Edmund Gibson's librarianship [c. 1700-7], possibly through his friendship with Thomas Tanner, successively Chancellor of Norwich diocese, commissary of the archdeaconries of Norfolk and Sudbury, and later Archdeacon of Norfolk.

Estate Documents known to be at Lambeth in 18th century in Morton's Tower; ED 1902-36, 1945-72, 1980-98, 2000-5 retained at Millbank by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the 19th century, others deposited in 1889 by the Commissioners at the Public Record Office where they were numbered and listed. Both groups were returned to Lambeth in July 1959 and January 1960.
ED 1895-1901 were found in Morton's Tower among the records of the Vicar General in 1959.
ED 2006-27 were found in the Crypt and Morton's Tower.
ED 2028-42 were transferred from the Temporalities.
ED 2043-67 were transferred from the Cartae Miscellaneae.
ED 2068 purchased in 1963 (with the assistance of The Most Reverend Dr Michael Ramsey, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, A. R. Neelands, Esq., The Church Commissioners, The Friends of the National Libraries, Callard and Bowser Limited, Kodak Limited, The Nestle Company Limited, J. Sainsbury Limited, and others).
ED 2069-73 were found in 1963.
Additional archiepiscopal estate documents (ED 2074-3116) located among records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills were transferred from Somerset House to the PRO, and transferred by the latter to the Library in 1974. The PCC Wills were originally stored in Morton's Tower until removed to the Principal Probate Registry in Somerset House in the mid-19th century.

Unused numbers: ED 256; 1430-4 (now in Carte Miscellaneae); 1435 (now MS 1681); 1436, 1438-41, 1443-7, 1450-7, 1459-63, 1465-73, 1465-1558 (now in Carte Miscellaneae); 1559-1773 (now in COMM - presentation deeds); 1882 (formerly CC 90643 2/6, now CM XIII/77); 1883 (formerly CC 90643 3/6, now CM XIII/78); 1894; 1942-4, 1974-9 (now Church Commissioners records). Missing rolls: ED 103, 347A.

Note that LR (long rolls) is a location reference used to refer to some of the estate documents - not to be confused with LR as reference code for separate Library Records series.
CopiesMicrofilm copies of some estate documents were placed at the Centre for Kentish Studies.
RelatedMaterialSome estate documents are in the manuscripts sequence (parts of MSS 789-841 - Tenison MSS; MS 942 - Gibson MS; MSS 951-1094 - miscellaneous MSS). Descriptions in H. Todd's Catalogue of The Archiepiscopal Manuscripts (London, 1812) are superseded.

For the later history of the Archbishops' estates, see the Archiepiscopal Temporalities, comprising volumes and loose documents and containing conveyances, leases, surveys, title deeds, rentals, accounts, vouchers, and estate memoranda and correspondence, largely post-medieval.

For the radical change which took place in the composition of the Canterbury estates between the Valor of 1535 and the accession of Elizabeth in 1558, see F. R. H. Du Boulay, "Archbishop Cranmer and the Canterbury Temporalities", English Historical Review, Ixvii [1952], 19-36. For information (e.g. leases, surrenders, etc) on the manors acquired as a result of these exchanges, see also the Temporalities records.

Other surviving medieval title deeds to archiepiscopal properties (acquired at this period) are in the Cartae Miscellaneae series and in the cartularies of the see of Canterbury, e.g. MS. 1212 (see G. R. C. Davis, Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain, London, 1958).

Some of the rolls in ED 2074- 2116 include references to the estate officials listed in F.R.H. Du Boulay, The lordship of Canterbury (1966), pp.393-402.

Further rolls of archiepiscopal properties at National Archives: Court of Augmentations. Others at Maidstone.

These form part of the archives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, which also comprise: Archbishops' papers (AP), Bishops' Meetings records (BM), Cartae Antiquae et Miscellaneae (Lambeth Charters) (CM), Convocation records (Conv), Court of Arches records (Arches), Faculty Office records (F), Lambeth Conference papers (LC), and Vicar General records (V). They relate in particular to Cartae Miscellaneae (CM).
PublnNoteJoan Greatrex, 'Biographical register of the English cathedral priories of the province of Canterbury, c. 1066 to 1540' (1997) [H5183.G7]. Canterbury section makes reference to Estate Documents.
'East Kent Records. A calendar of some unpublished deeds and court rolls in the library of Lambeth Palace', ed. Irene J. Churchill (1920-22) [KA670.K2]. Kent Archaeological Society, Records Branch, Vol. 7.
'Kentish demesne accounts up to 1350: a catalogue (with a summary of accounts, 1350-1500)', ed. James A. Galloway, Margaret Murphy and Olwen Myhill (1993) [KA670.K3]
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