Catalogue description Palatinate of Durham: Chancery Court: Entry Books of Decrees and Orders

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Details of DURH 4
Reference: DURH 4
Title: Palatinate of Durham: Chancery Court: Entry Books of Decrees and Orders

This series consists of two groups of entry books of decrees and orders in equity proceedings in the Durham Chancery Court, 1633 to 1850 and 1879 to 1958. In some volumes the names of the parties are written in the left margin of each entry, which makes identification of suits easier. Some entries were the result of sessions of the court held in London. The Chancellor was often a lawyer in the royal courts and from the seventeenth century at least he dealt with business from his London chambers. Two volumes contain as end-papers lists of attorneys practising in the court between 1620 and 1675.

The enclosure of common land was a major source of business for the court and in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries many enclosures were awarded by Chancery decrees. The first four volumes of this series contain a number of enclosure awards by Chancery decree.

Most volumes contain their own indexes at the front or the back of the volume; there are no other indexes or calendars.

Date: 1633-1958

The earliest surviving book is Liber K, which covers the period from 1633 to 1642. There was no Liber J as the letters I and J were not distinguished in Latin. At this point the volumes cease to be labelled by letters. It is apparent both from the dates of the inscriptions in which the volumes are so labelled and from the period that the labels cease that the labelling of Liber K-N volumes took place in the early years of the eighteenth century, no doubt to conform to the pattern which had been established when the series began in the reign of Henry VIII. A further three volumes complete the first group which ends in 1850. The volumes are in chronological order but there are some gaps in the series. The second group begins in 1879 and continues in an unbroken sequence until 1958.

In the earliest volumes entries are mainly grouped according to the one or two formal sessions which took place each year, with a small number of entries on days falling between these sessions. By the last volume entries are spread throughout the year.

Related material:

Other records on enclosure awards are in Division within MAF

Separated material:

This series originally contained a number of earlier volumes which have been lost although they are described in Durham University Library Mickleton MS 38, which is the original index volume to the series.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English and Latin

Durham Chancery Court, 1836-1971

Palatinate of Durham, Chancery Court, 1333-1836

Physical description: 17 volume(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure
Unpublished finding aids:

Reference to decrees on enclosure awards is by the list of enclosure awards which follows the catalogue of CP 43, available in the reading rooms at The National Archives, Kew.

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