Catalogue description Duchy of Lancaster: Parliamentary Surveys

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Details of DL 32
Reference: DL 32
Title: Duchy of Lancaster: Parliamentary Surveys

The documents in this series are, with a few exceptions, eighteenth and nineteenth century transcripts of parliamentary surveys relating to the lands of the Duchy of Lancaster throughout England and Wales.

The original surveys were produced under the two acts of 1649 and 1650 for the sale of crown lands, and are of two main types: those of single tenurial units such as honors and manors, and those of whole hundreds or wapentakes.

The surveys were mostly concerned with value and details of tenurial arrangements and rents rather than topography, although details of buildings are sometimes given.

This series also includes a few copy particulars and one copy contract for the sale of crown lands. These record the tenure, rents and conditions of the lands in question.

Date: 1650-1838
Related material:

The original parliamentary surveys may be found in:

E 317

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Not Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 87 papers
Publication note:

The classic study of the parliamentary surveys, including those in this series, is S J Madge, The Domesday of Crown Lands (London, 1938).

Unpublished finding aids:

A typescript calendar by S J Madge entitled 'Parliamentary Surveys of Crown Lands during the Commonwealth' (1927) detailing all the parliamentary surveys then known to exist county by county is available. Please speak to staff at the Map and Large Document Room enquiry desk for the precise location.

Administrative / biographical background:

The original surveys were produced under two Acts of 1649 and 1650 for the sale of crown lands. Under the first Act, dated 16 July 1649, trustees were appointed to sell the properties. These trustees appointed local surveyors to carry out surveys of the crown lands that were sold. The surveyors produced two copies of each survey: one was kept by a surveyor general, Colonel William Webb, and the other by the registrar appointed under the act to keep all relevant records. The first act authorised the sale of honours and manors and the second act authorised the sale of fee-farm rents, which were ascertained by surveying whole hundreds or wapentakes.

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