The present collection comprises the deeds, family and personal papers of the Barker, Tayler and Adams families, who were successive farmers of the manor and occupants of Ansty Hall.
The arrangement of the deeds is based partly upon the former schedules drawn up in the 19th century. However, only a few of the numbered packets as given in one of those schedules (CR 285/254) have been retained as original series. Cross references to the former packet numbers have been included in the present list.
The genealogy of the successive farmers of the manor, and other sources for the history of Ansty can be found in the following: V.C.H., Warwickshire, viii, p.p. 43-48; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952 edn., p.p. 8-9; the Visitations of 1619 and 1682-83 (Harleian Society vols. 12 p.p. 360-61 and 62 p.p. 116-117); D.C.O. Adams, Ansty and Shilton, 1907
The main block of property held by the three successive families was the demesne estate of Ansty manor. The manor itself was held by the Dean and canons of St. George's chapel, Windsor from 1507 to 1867, and thereafter by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners until its piecemeal sale between 1869 and 1886. The Dean and canons leased the demesne from 1544. The descent of the farm of the manor is given (with a few dates to be corrected by reference to the present list) in the V.C.H., viii, p.44.
The customary lands were granted on 21 year leases which, as a document of 1761 confirms (CR 285/14/62), "for time immemorial [had] been renewed at the end of the first seven years". Between 1784 and 1869 a large part of the customary lands was acquired by the Adams family, who, by the marriage of Elizabeth Tayler to Clarke Adams in 1744 and the lunacy of the last of the Taylers (Edward, d.1799) gained an interest in, and from 1799 control of, the Ansty demesne estates.
Some of the former Adams estates in Northamptonshire (Clarke Adams being of East Haddon and Moreton Pinkney) were sold in 1824, 1829 and 1869 (CR 285/79-82, CR 285/86, CR 285/97, CR 285/112). The Staffordshire and Dosthill properties were sold around 1801 (CR 285/92).
The other Northamptonshire connection, which explains the presence of Warren family deeds and parish material relating to Bugbrooke, sprang from the marriage of Anne (daughter of Simon Adams of Daventry and East Haddon) to Benjamin Warren of Bugbrooke in 1716.