Office of Commissioners of Crown Lands and predecessors: Registered Files on Crown Estates sold before 1941
General correspondence and papers of the Commissioners of Crown Lands and predecessors relating to estates and manors in England and Ireland held by the Crown and sold before the end of 1940. The files concern lettings, sales, purchases, easements, repairs and improvements to buildings, boundaries, roads, inclosure awards, tithes, rent charges, market tolls, escheats, heriots and all aspects of estate management of the various Crown properties. Much of the correspondence is with surveyors, solicitors, receivers and other interested parties, such as the Land Revenue Record Office, the Office of Works, the Duchy of Cornwall Office, the Duchy of Lancaster Office, etc. Those files relating to Ireland contain correspondence with the Quit Rent Office in Dublin.
The papers in the files are quite varied, and in addition to letters in, draft letters out and the related minutes, the files contain reports, memoranda, petitions, printed copies of bills and acts of parliament, newspaper cuttings, manuscript copies of ministers' accounts and parliamentary surveys (obtained from documents in the Public Record Office), plans, receipts, some original Treasury warrants, court orders and copy affidavits, and other miscellaneous material.
The files relating to England are arranged in county order using the names of the counties existing before 1974, and then, as far as possible, in alphabetical order of estate or locality within each county. Those for Ireland are at the end of the list.
The following terms are used in the series list:
- Escheat: the lapsing of property to the Crown on the owner's dying intestate without heirs.
- Manorial incidents: the various services, or money payments in lieu thereof, due to the lord of themanor on the death of a tenant.
- Commutation of manorial incidents: the extinguishment of the incidents by the lord in consideration of alump sum payment by the tenant.
- Heriots: a tax of money on goods payable to the lord of a manor on the death of a tenant.
- Rent charge: a periodical payment charged on land and payable by the landowner to someone who has otherwise no interest in the land. Rent charges were frequently specially created by deed, for example, by a landowner who wished to endow a charity.
- Tithe: a special form of rent charge, originally due to the local ecclesiastical authorities, now verylargely commuted in accordance with the provisions of the Tithe Redemption Acts.
- Market tolls: these were dues or charges levied on fairs or markets, and where held within the bounds of amanor were normally due to the lord of the manor or his grantee.
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