Catalogue description Okeover family of Okeover

This record is held by Derbyshire Record Office

Details of GB 0026 D231
Reference: GB 0026 D231
Title: Okeover family of Okeover

The records were deposited at various dates between 1963 and 1984


The records reflect the steady acquisition of property with 12th - 19th century title deeds and estate papers for Atlow, Bradbourne, Snelston, Mapleton, Kniveton, Norbury, Fenny Bentley and Findern in Derbyshire and Okeover, Swinscoe, Mayfield, Ilam, Blore, Denstone and Calton in Staffordshire, including an early 17th century sketch map of Ilam. There are deeds for properties in Norfolk, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire. There are also manorial court records for Okeover 1422-1670, Atlow 1345-1670, Wymeswold, Leicestershire 1656-1728, Little Ellingham, Norfolk 1662-1627 and Boylands and Chediston, Suffolk 1593-1666.


For the most part it has been possible to divide the Staffordshire and Derbyshire title deeds and estate papers into individual estates although not individual properties. The Okeover and Atlow estates were acquired almost in their entirety in the Mediaeval period so that the title deeds consist almost entirely of Mediaeval deeds, with later deeds relating only to mortgages and family settlements. The principal acquisitions of property in recent times have taken place in Swinscoe and Mapleton where Leeke Okeover in particular was consolidating his estates in the 18th century. The Mapleton title deeds include a large number of deeds of exchange relating to the private enclosure of Mapleton open fields in 1730-1731 of which Leeke Okeover appears to have been the principal instigator.


Although the principal estate is the Staffordshire/Derbyshire estate large accumulations of title deeds also relate to the Leicestershire and Norfolk estates which were in the family's possession for less than a hundred years in each case. The Norfolk estate centred on Hardwick and was acquired by the 17th century marriage of Rowland Okeover to Dame Elizabeth Pettus, the widow and sole heir of Sir Thomas Pettus who owned extensive estates in Norfolk and Suffolk. The Norfolk title deeds include a very fine run of 15th and 16th century deeds relating to property in Kings Lynn, throwing considerable light on the activities of the port in Tudor times. The Norfolk estate remained Okeover property only until 1751 when Leeke Okeover, in deep financial trouble, had to sell the estate to help pay off his debts.


The large accumulations of Leicestershire title deeds relate to the Wymeswold estate acquired by the 1700 marriage of Thomas Okeover to Catherine Leeke, daughter and sole heir of William Leeke of Wymeswold, serjeant-at-law. The two manors of Wymeswold (Wymeswold and Crackhole alias Crowhole) changed hands several times over the 1530-1670 period and with the continued acquisition of property by the Leekes a considerable body of title deeds has resulted. The Leicestershire estate was again sold by Leeke Okeover in 1751-1752 to help clear his debts.


There is only a relatively small quantity of material relating to the Warwickshire estate in Oldbury and Mancetter, acquired by another 17th century marriage, that of Thomas Okeover (brother of Rowland Okeover, husband of Dame Elizabeth Pettus) to Elizabeth Farmer, daughter of John Farmer of Oldbury.


The main sequence of title deeds is joined by a considerable volume of miscellaneous title deeds, some relating to families into which the Okeovers married but others having no obvious connection. Many of the miscellaneous Staffordshire deeds relate to the Hollinshead family, with whom the Okeovers were related as a result of the marriage of Elizabeth Okeover, sister of Leeke Okeover, to Thomas Hollinshead of Ashenhurst. The Hollinsheads were solicitors and estate agents in Leek and Bradnop and many of the miscellaneous Staffordshire deeds may have been derived from this source.


The estate papers can again be divided into individual estates in the same sequence as the title deeds. The Staffordshire and Derbyshire estate papers include some very early leases dating from the 13th century. There is also a fine 1633(?) survey of Atlow by Senior and some very interesting 17th century material relating to the regulation of the open fields and pastures at Mapleton, as well as estate papers relating to the 1730-1731 enclosure. There is also a large collection of standard tenancy agreements for the Staffordshire/Derbyshire estate. The Wymeswold estate papers contain a considerable amount of material relating to the open fields there together with several immensely detailed terriers. The Norfolk estate papers are few in number but contain several bills and accounts for work carried out on the farms at Hardwick and also contain a certain amount of material relating to the Court of Sewers and the general problems of drainage in the area around Kings Lynn. The outstanding item is a 17th century survey of the manor of South Elmham, Suffolk when it was in the possession of Sir John Pettus.


There are two main groups of accounts, the principal one being the very extensive accounts of Leeke Okeover between 1723 and 1762 and the second one covering the years 1850-1860 under H.C. Okeover and Reverend R.R. Vaughton. Each consists of loose bills, receipts and vouchers relating to estate, personal, household and legal matters. The accounts of Leeke Okeover are particularly full; all his bills, receipts and vouchers had to be kept because of his accumulated debts which eventually led to his exile in France and Belgium in 1751-1752.


Of particular interest are the papers of Leeke Okeover which include his notebook and correspondence when he lived as 'Mr Scrimpshaw' in exile in northern France and Belgium to escape his creditors 1751-1752. The correspondence series 1744-4764 also includes material about the rebuilding of Foremark Hall for which there are plans including unexecuted projects. There are also papers relating to the Chancery court case brought by his wife's niece Margaret Nicoll relating to his guardianship 1751-1754. The family papers include some business papers 1676-1685 of his father-in-law, William Leeke, serjeant-at-law.


Leeke Okeover's estate correspondence includes irregular correspondence with the Leicestershire and Norfolk estate agents, with the staff at Okeover when at his London home, with Trinity College, Cambridge over the lease of tithes. There is also an interesting series of letters from the 1740s (with accompanying plans) with Sanderson, the architect, regarding the rebuilding of Okeover Hall. Many of the letters written in exile concern the sale of the Norfolk and Leicestershire estates.


Among the miscellaneous estate papers is a fine set of papers relating to the enclosure at Bradnop in the 1680s in which T. Hollinshead acted as an enclosure commissioner. There are also several interesting items relating to the Howe estate in South Nottinghamshire, including a grant of free warren in Langar and Barnstone by Edward I. The small amount of Warwickshire material includes some 18th century coal-mining material relating to Ansley.


The family material consists largely of 17th and 18th century settlements, wills and associated papers. They also include diaries of Mary Ann Ward, daughter of General Sir George Anson and mother of H.C. Okeover 1846-1874, of Elizabeth Jane, Lady Waterpark, mother-in-law of H.C. Okeover 1852-1893 and of H.C. Okeover 1859-1909. There are several legal papers, such as the case papers in the case regarding the treatment of Mary Nicoll by her guardian Leeke Okeover and his wife Margaret in 1751.


The personal correspondence largely consists of that between Leeke Okeover and his wife while in exile (including a rough notebook describing his travels in France and Belgium) and letters from Haughton Charles Okeover at Eton in the 1830s. The first Okeover charity was set up in 1669 by Rowland Okeover to provide organists and choirboys for Okeover Church from income derived from land in Atlow. A second charity was set up by H.F. Okeover to provide a house for clergymen's widows at Mapleton. As in the case of title deeds and estate papers there is again miscellaneous material in considerable quantities largely consisting of wills and associated papers. There are also several culinary and medicinal recipes dating from the 18th and 19th centuries in the records.


The business papers relate almost entirely to the Hollinsheads' legal practice and consist chiefly of bills and receipts together with two early 18th century letter books.


There are also a few papers relating to the legal business of William Leeke, father of Catherine Leeke, the wife of Thomas Okeover.


The papers relating to office consist mainly of the working papers of Rowland Farmer Okeover in his term of office as Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1782-1783. There are also several earlier writs to other members of the family serving chiefly as sheriffs of Staffordshire.




D231M/T Title deeds


D231M/T1-385 Title deeds relating to the Derbyshire and Staffordshire Estates of the Okeover family


D231M/T1-33 Okeover Estate (Okeover, Okeover Woodhouse and Coldwall)


D231M/T34-130 Swinscoe and Woodhouse estate


D231M/T131-158 Atlow and Bradbourne estate


D231M/T159-161 Snelston estate


D231M/T162-272 Mapleton estate


D231M/T273-294 Snelsdale and Mayfield estate


D231M/T295-298 Stretton (near Burton on Trent) estate


D231M/T299-308 Ashbourne estate


D231M/T309-316 Stanton (near Mayfield) estate


D231M/T317-318 Broadlow Ash estate


D231M/T319-325 Calton estate


D231M/T326 Denstone estate


D231M/T327-329 Sheen estate


D231M/T330-344 Musden Grange estate (Ilam and Calton)


D231M/T345-367 Blore estate


D231M/T368-376 Various small estates (Staffordshire and Derbyshire)


D231M/T377-385 Staffordshire and Derbyshire estates combined


D231M/T386-519 Title deeds relating to the Norfolk and Suffolk estates of the Okeover family


D231M/T386-416 Hardwick estate (Hardwick, North Runton, Rackheath, etc.)


D231M/T417-460 Little Ellingham estate


D231M/T461-517 Kings Lynn estate


D231M/T518-519 Huntingfield (Suffolk) estate


D231M/T520-678 Title deeds relating to the Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire estates of the Okeover family


D231M/T520-660 Wymeswold (Leicestershire) estate


D231M/T661-669 Nottinghamshire estate


D231M/T670-678 Small Leicestershire estates


D231M/T679-686 Title deeds relating to the Warwickshire estates of the Okeover family


D231M/T679-680 Mancetter


D231M/T681-683 Oldbury


D231M/T684-686 Weddington


D231M/T687-695 Title deeds relating to the London property of the Okeover family


D231M/T687-695 London property


D231M/T696-877 Miscellaneous title deeds


D231M/T696-706 Miscellaneous Staffordshire deeds


D231M/T707-709 Miscellaneous Cheshire deeds


D231M/T710-711 Miscellaneous Lancashire deeds


D231M/T712-774 Miscellaneous Staffordshire deeds


D231M/T775-788 Miscellaneous Derbyshire deeds


D231M/T789-793 Miscellaneous Norfolk deeds


D231M/T794-818 Miscellaneous Leicestershire deeds


D231M/T819-821 Miscellaneous Warwickshire deeds


D231M/T822-836 Miscellaneous Nottinghamshire deeds


D231M/T837-841 Miscellaneous London deeds


D231M/T842-845 Miscellaneous Essex deeds


D231M/T846-858 Miscellaneous Gloucester deeds


D231M/T859-862 Miscellaneous Cheshire deeds


D231M/T863-864 Miscellaneous Lincolnshire deeds


D231M/T865 Miscellaneous Northamptonshire deeds


D231M/T866 Miscellaneous Shropshire deeds


D231M/T867-872 Numbers not used


D231M/T873-877 Swinscoe and Woodhouse estate deeds


D231M/M Manorial records


D231M/M1-45 Derbyshire and Staffordshire


D231M/M1-33 Okeover Manor Court


D231M/M34-43 Atlow Manor Court


D231M/M44-45 Okeover/ Atlow Manor Courts


D231M/M46-65 Norfolk and Suffolk


D231M/M46-47 Little Ellingham Manorial


D231M/M48-65 Boylands and Chediston Manorial


D231M/M66-78 Leicestershire


D231M/M66-78 Wymeswold Manor Court


D231M/M79-83 Miscellaneous


D231M/E Estate papers


D231M/E1-498 Staffordshire and Derbyshire estates


D231M/E1-178 Okeover estate


D231M/E179-235 Swinscoe and Woodhouse estates


D231M/E236-318 Atlow and Bradbourne estates


D231M/E319-321 Snelston estate


D231M/E322-383 Mapleton estate


D231M/E384-401 Mayfield and Snelsdale estate


D231M/E402 Stanton estate


D231M/E403 Stretton estate


D231M/E404-425 Ilam estate


D231M/E426-447 Blore estate


D231M/E448-449 Broadlow Ash estate


D231M/E450 Kniveton estate


D231M/E451 Norbury estate


D231M/E452 Duffield Church


D231M/E453 Derbyshire estate


D231M/E454-456 Fenny Bentley estate


D231M/E457 Findern estate


D231M/E458-498 Derbyshire and Staffordshire estates combined


D231M/E499-583 Norfolk estates


D231M/E499-538 Norfolk estate


D231M/E539-552 Little Ellingham estate


D231M/E553-564 Kings Lynn estate


D231M/E565-583 Suffolk estate


D231M/E584-660 Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire


D231M/E584-657 Leicestershire estate


D231M/E658-660 Thorp, Wysall and Willoughby, Nottinghamshire


D231M/E661-674 Warwickshire


D231M/E675-687 London


D231M/E688-5009 Other Okeover family estate papers


D231M/E688 Unidentified estate


D231M/E689 Manchester


D231M/E690 Cotham Wolds


D231M/E691-5009 Okeover estate in general in counties


D231M/E5010-5211 Other families' estate papers


D231M/E5010-5118 Miscellaneous Staffordshire estate papers


D231M/E5119-5135 Miscellaneous Derbyshire estate papers


D231M/E5136-5144 Miscellaneous Norfolk estate papers


D231M/E5145-5151 Miscellaneous Leicestershire estate papers


D231M/E5152-5161 Miscellaneous Warwickshire estate papers


D231M/E5162-5174 Papers relating to Arley when R.R. Vaughton was Rector


D231M/E5175-5188 Miscellaneous Nottinghamshire estate papers


D231M/E5189-5207 Miscellaneous London estate papers


D231M/E5208 Miscellaneous Gloucestershire estate papers


D231M/E5209-5210 Miscellaneous Cheshire estate papers


D231M/E5211 Miscellaneous Shropshire estate papers


D231M/P Maps and plans


D231M/P1-9 Maps and plans


D231M/F Family papers


D231M/F1-349 Okeover family


D231M/F1 Pardons


D231M/F2-14 Wills and associated papers


D231M/F15-37 Family settlements


D231M/F38-63 Legal papers


D231M/F64-306 Correspondence


D231M/F307-349 Okeover charities


D231M/F350-438 Other families


D231M/F350-352 Pardons and religious privileges


D231M/F353-417 Wills and associated papers


D231M/F418-420 Inventories


D231M/F421-426 Settlements


D231M/F427-438 Other papers


D231M/F439-442 Okeover family


D231M/F439-441 Diaries


D231M/F442 Family history


D231M/B Business


D231M/B1-7 William Leeke


D231M/B8-240 Hollinshead family legal practice


D231M/O Public Office


D231M/O1-9 Appointments


D231M/O10-20 Other papers


D231M/O21-144 R.F. Okeover as Sheriff of Warwickshire


D231M/O145-151 Miscellaneous papers


D231M/Z Miscellaneous


D231M/Z1-17 Miscellaneous deeds and estate papers


D231M/Z18-27 Verse


D231M/Z28-290 Recipes


D231M/Z291-307 Prints and photographs


D231M/Z308-315 Miscellaneous family items


D231M/Z316-340 Manuscript notes and correspondence


D231M/Z341-352 Printed books, articles and catalogues


D231M/Z353-408 Miscellaneous

Date: 12th century-20th century
Held by: Derbyshire Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Okeover family of Okeover, Derbyshire

Physical description: 7 series
Access conditions:


  • Okeover Hall, Derbyshire/ Staffordshire
  • Okeover estate, Derbyshire/ Staffordshire
  • South Elmham Manor, Suffolk
  • Wymeswold Manor, Wymeswold, Leicestershire
  • Crackhole Manor, Wymeswold, Leicestershire
  • Crowhole Manor, Wymeswold, Leicestershire
  • Okeover Church, Okeover, Derbyshire
  • Okeover, Thomas, 1679-1710, of Okeover, Derbyshire
  • Okeover, Leeke, 1707-1765, of Okeover, Derbyshire, alias 'Mr Scrimpshaw'
  • Okeover, Rowland Farmer, 1745-1793, of Oldbury Hall, Warwickshire
  • Okeover, Haughton Charles, b 1825, of Okeover, Derbyshire
  • Leeke family of Wymeswold, Leicestershire
  • Walker family, baronets of Gateacre
  • Pettus family of Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Farmer family of Oldbury, Warwickshire
  • Hollinshead family of Leek, Staffordshire and Bradnop, Staffordshire
  • Atlow, Derbyshire
  • Bradbourne, Derbyshire
  • Snelston, Derbyshire
  • Mapleton, Derbyshire
  • Kniveton, Derbyshire
  • Norbury, Derbyshire
  • Fenny Bentley, Derbyshire
  • Findern, Derbyshire
  • Okeover, Staffordshire
  • Swinscoe, Staffordshire
  • Mayfield, Staffordshire
  • Ilam, Staffordshire
  • Blore, Staffordshire
  • Denstone, Staffordshire
  • Calton, Staffordshire
  • Wymeswold, Leicestershire
  • Little Ellingham, Norfolk
  • Boylands, Suffolk
  • Chediston, Suffolk
  • Oldbury, Warwickshire
  • Mancetter, Warwickshire
  • Hardwick, Norfolk
  • Estate management
Administrative / biographical background:

The Okeover family traced their family to Akeover (later Okeover) on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border in the tenth century. They take their name from this small parish that lies just to the west of Ashbourne. The family stayed in Okeover developing their estates in Staffordshire and Derbyshire by purchase and marriage into local families.


The manor of Okeover has been in the family's possession since the early Middle Ages and the permanent estate of the family is concentrated in this part of Staffordshire and Derbyshire with Okeover as the nucleus, but including also land in Mapleton, Swinscoe, Woodhouse, Blore, Atlow and Snelston.


Thomas Okeover (1679-1710) married Katherine (or Catherine) Leeke (or Leek or Leake) of Wymeswold, Leicestershire. Under the will of their son, Leake Okeover (1745-1793), the estate passed to Rowland farmer Okeover whose main residence was at Oldbury Hall in Warwickshire. He was succeeded by his grandson, Haughton Charles Okeover (born 1825). The estate eventually passed to Sir Ian Walker, 3rd baronet Walker of Gateacre who added the surname Okeover in 1956. See D1849.


Okeover Hall was rebuilt in the period after 1686. It was enlarged and to a great extent rebuilt by Leeke Okeover in the 1740s but his planned work was never completed. When the Okeover estate passed to the Warwickshire branch Okeover Hall was not used as the main residence. In 1961 Okeover Hall became the main seat of the Walker-Okeover family.

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