These documents relate to various estates which belonged to the Cheslyn family. In 1686 Richard Cheslyn of London (an eminent iron-founder who originated from Foleshill, Coventry) bought the Langley Priory estate from the Grey family who had held it since 1543, when Henry VIII granted the estate of the dissolved Priory to Thomas Grey (see DE1107/232). The Cheslyns lived at Langley Hall, later called Langley Priory, until about 1840, when it was bought by John Shakespear Esquire, of Worthington Field. Documents relating to freehold property of the Cheslyn family in and around Langley are numbers 39 - 45A, 163, 204 and 232-237. (A facsimile of a manuscript history of Langley Priory is held in the library of the Leicestershire Record Office).
A large proportion of the documents relate to the manor of Diseworth, which included the greater part of the land in Diseworth, and also lands in Hathern, Isley Walton, Kegworth and Castle Donington. This estate was owned by Christ's College, Cambridge, who leased it for 21 years at a time to one tenant, for an annual rent of money and a specified quantity of wheat and malt or its current market value (see DE1107/17 and DE1107/156). This tenant covenanted to make new leases of the property to the existing sub-tenants, for a rent which normally included a stated amount of wheat and malt or its current value, as in the principal lease. Sometimes there was an additional payment of a capon or a hen, for which 1s or 6d respectively could be substituted. A fine was payable when the lease was renewed. The sub-tenants were entitled to benefit of renewal on their leases, and could mortgage or sell their interest as if they were copyholders.
At the end of the seventeenth century the College's lessee was Edward Bigland. Early in the eighteenth century the lease was acquired by the Barwell family of Leicester. In the 1760s Charles Barwell sold the lease to Leonard Fosbrooke, who in turn sold it to Richard Cheslyn of Langley Hall in 1768 (see DE1107/140). In the nineteenth century it was acquired by the Shakespear family.
The remainder of the documents relate to Cheslyn property in other counties; for further information see the Index of Parishes, page 61.
Original bundles of deeds:
Diseworth DE1107/1 - 74
Diseworth, Hathern, Kegworth and Isley Walton (see Index of Parishes) DE1107/75 - 124
Diseworth DE1107/125 - 138
Manor of Diseworth DE1107/139 - 140
Diseworth and Hathern DE1107/141 - 153
Manor of Diseworth DE1107/154 - 163
Diseworth DE1107/164 - 205
Diseworth and Castle Donington DE1107/206 - 208
Hathern DE1107/209 - 228
Kegworth DE1107/229 - 231
Langley, Breedon and elsewhere DE1107/232
Original bundle of deeds (Langley and out-county) DE1107/233 - 237
Original bundle of deeds (out-county) DE1107/238 - 288
Individual deeds (out-county) DE1107/289 - 314