Catalogue description Special Collections: Rolls Estate: Leases and Counterparts of Leases

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Details of SC 3
Reference: SC 3
Title: Special Collections: Rolls Estate: Leases and Counterparts of Leases

Leases and counterparts of leases, with some original parchment envelopes, relating to various messuages within the Rolls Estate, mostly on the Chancery Lane site subsequently occupied by the Public Record Office.

All the properties were within the Liberty of the Rolls, and many within the parish of St Dunstan in the West. Apart from Chancery Lane there were properties in Weedon Street (now the east end of Carey Street), Fetter Lane and Rolls Buildings. None of the properties now survive.

The leases provide information about the estate in the first half of the eighteenth century. The tenants' names are often given, and also the names of the tenants in adjacent properties. Occupations are sometimes included. Many leases have schedules which provide details of the properties concerned. There is a plan of the messuages comprising the Golden Lyon Inn.

Date: 1719-1747

The records have been arranged topographically.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 147 file(s)
Unpublished finding aids:

A plan of the estate dated 1828 is available to locate the properties. Each property has been given a number which corresponds with the plan numbers shown the list. Please speak to staff at the Map and Large Document Room enquiry desk for the precise location. See also Special Collections: Rolls Estate: leases and counterparts of leases (formerly introductory note to SC 3)

Administrative / biographical background:

The Rolls Estate had its beginnings in 1232 when King Henry III founded there a home for Jews converted to Christianity. The House of Converts was governed by a keeper and had a chapel. In 1377 the keepership of the house was formally united with the mastership of the rolls of Chancery. The site remained the office of the Master of the Rolls thereafter. By statute in 1837 the whole of the Rolls Estate, including the chapel, was vested in the crown, and never again granted to the Master of the Rolls. For many centuries the chapel had been used as a repository for the rolls of Chancery. By the act of 1837 the Commissioners of Woods and Forests were empowered to appropriate the Rolls Estate as a site for a new general record repository for the public records. The first block of the new record office was begun in 1850, and in 1895-1896 the chapel was demolished and the Public Record Office extended.

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