Catalogue description WERRINGTON ESTATE RECORDS

This record is held by Cornwall Record Office

Details of WW
Reference: WW
Title: WERRINGTON ESTATE RECORDS
Description:

The documents deposited at the Cornwall Record Office relate to the acquisition and administration of the estate up to its acquisition by the Williams family and include a large quantity of title deeds recording the various transfers of the whole estate and of individual farms and tenements.

 

The administration of the estate was undertaken by local agents who were responsible for drawing up leases, keeping accounts and managing the manorial courts. Leases (mainly for 99 years or three lives) describe in some detail individual properties and farms in Werrington, St. Stephen by Launceston and Newport, and the range of trades occupations mentioned suggests a thriving and reasonably prosperous community.

 

There are few documents relating to borough elections, and a handful only of manor court records have survived, but these include a few mediaeval items.

 

Personal papers do not feature in the collection: the existence of an estate office which handled the management of property would have made it unlikely that the various families would have stored their private records with the estate papers as happened in some houses. There are however sale catalogues and inventories which provide some information on the house and its contents in the nineteenth century.

 

TITLE DEEDS

 

Acquisition of property: whole estate

 

Morice to Northumberland, 1775

 

Molesworth to Northumberland, 1784

 

Bedford to Northumberland, 1795

 

Phillipps to Northumberland, 1824, 1847

 

Manor of Launceston lands

 

Deeds of title (purchased 1775 by Sir Humphry Morice), 1629-1775

 

Property in Werrington, Launceston and Newport

 

Deeds of title (purchased 1775 by Duke of Northumberland from Humphry Morice), 1775

 

Werrington estate

 

Deeds of title (purchased 1882 by Williams), 1882-1885

 

St. Stephen by Launceston and Newport

 

Athill and Kernick

 

Culvercliff

 

Dutson

 

Fern and Thornhill meadow

 

Forges Park

 

Gadmansleigh

 

Hawke Hills and Cross Lane fields

 

Menhennitt

 

Newport properties

 

St. Stephen parish

 

St. Stephen and St. Thomas

 

St. Mary Magdalen

 

St. Thomas

 

ESTATE ADMINISTRATION

 

Leases

 

Manor of Launceston Lands

 

Properties in Newport

 

St. Stephen

 

St. Stephen and St. Thomas

 

St. Thomas

 

Launceston borough

 

Werrington

 

Deeds and leases: other parishes

 

Davidstow and Minster

 

Forrabury and Minster

 

Lawhitton

 

Maker

 

Tresmeer

 

Devon: Lifton

 

Administrative records

 

Maker of Launceston Lands

 

(Rentals, manor court records, schedules of deeds, accounts)

 

Newport borough

 

(Surveys, voters' lists)

 

St. Stephen by Launceston

 

(Overseers' rates and accounts, land tax, churchwardens)

 

Launceston borough and parish

 

(Acts of Parliament, tithes, accounts)

 

Werrington estate

 

(Accounts)

 

Miscellaneous papers

Date: 1433 - 1909
Arrangement:

The documents are in very good physical condition. They have been sorted and arranged into general categories of property acquisition and property management; many bundles carried original individual reference codes and these have been noted where they occur, though it has not been possible to interpret their significance.

Held by: Cornwall Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Creator:

Werrington Estate, Cornwall

Physical description: 799 Files
Immediate source of acquisition:

Accession no. 3661

 

Deposited by the Williams Family

Administrative / biographical background:

The estate of Werrington was held by the abbey of Tavistock from before Conquest until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539

 

The estates of the abbey were granted by Henry VIII to Lord Russell, earl of Bedford, was soon afterwards conveyed the property in Werrington parish to Edward Woodward and Henry and Bartholomew Lucas. In 1620 the property was purchased by Sir Francis Drake, nephew of the Elizabethan seafarer. In 1631 he was granted a licence to impark lands in Werrington and St. Stephen by Launceston; ten years later he built for himself a new dwelling on the site of the old manor house.

 

In 1649 Drake moved to the family seat at Buckland and sold Werrington to Sir William Morice, purchasing instead the adjoining manor of Launceston (formerly the lands of the priory of Launceston) and the borough of Newport in the parish of St. Stephen, most of which he subsequently resold to the Morice family.

 

In 1775 the Werrington estates, comprising 11,000 acres, were sold to Hugh, duke of Northumberland, who also acquired all the outlying tenements in Newport, as well as considerable property in Launceston borough.

 

In 1864 the estates were offered for sale, and purchased by Alexander Hey Campbell, a Manchester merchant, who represented Launceston in Parliament from 1865 to 1868. In that year he sold to William Wentworth Fitzwilliam Dick, of County Wicklow; in 1871 the estates were purchased by James Henry Deakin, another Manchester merchant, also briefly Member of Parliament for Launceston, as was his son James (1874-1877)

 

Many of the outlying properties had been sold; in 1882 the much reduced estate was purchased by John Charles Williams of Caerhays Castle, who spent considerable sums of money in renovating the mansion and the church, and improving the farms and deer park.

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