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Andy Wood Durham University TNA court depositions and early modern social history.

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Presentation on theme: "Andy Wood Durham University TNA court depositions and early modern social history."— Presentation transcript:

1 Andy Wood Durham University TNA court depositions and early modern social history

2 Depositions regarding liberties of the city of Durham


4 The cadastral view: ways of seeing Norden envisages ‘the lord sitting in his chayre’, studying a map of his estates ‘rightly drawne by true information’ which ‘describeth so the lively image of a manor, and every branch and member of the same’ such that the lord ‘may see what he hath, and where and how he lyeth, and in whole use and occupation of every particular is upon suddaine view’

5 John Norden’s Survey of Falmer (Sussex) 1618

6 Negotiated space: Methwold warren, c.1592

7 Main classes of TNA depositions on which I have worked Duchy depositions (DL3 and DL4) Exchequer depositions (E134) Star Chamber (STAC2-5, STAC8) Problematic material: Chancery (C24), Eliz Star Chamber (STAC5), Excehquer depositions (E133)

8 Conceptualizing space Testimony of William Platt, 1618 hee this dep[onen]t was present when one William Senior a Surveyor did make the plot [i.e., map] now shewed unto him and saieth that the meanes m[ar]rks and knowne places hereafter followinge are pte of the meanes and knowne the Lo[rdshi]pp of Ashford and the Lordshipps and townes of Taddington and Monyash And saieth that the bottom of one dale called deepe dale is the meare and bounde betweene the commons of Taddington and Sheldon pcell of the Manor of Ashford from the pasture of Sheldon to a place where by reporte a wooden crosse hath been and is now a little hole and certen stones in or near to the same neare to a place called Stirker meares and soe downe to a place at the side of Flagholme And soe descendinge by Monyashfield nooke and from that field nooke upp bole slacke to a quarrye where stone hath beene gotten and to a great greene hillocke and soe to a place called Strifte meare beeinge at or neare the over end of Greenesall racke and soe from Strifte meare downe waterlowe slacke to Kirkbydale bothom where there is a hole whearin by reporte of auncient men a crosse hath beene in ould tyme And wch place where he said a crosse hath beene is the bounder betweene the Lordshipp of Moniash aforesaid all wch meares and knowne places have beene accounted to bee the meares and boundes betweene the lopp. Of Ashford and the said lordshipps or townes of Taddington and Monyash aforesaid duringe the tyme of this deponts remembrance and accordinge to these meares direccon was given that the said plot showd bee made but whether the said plot now shewed bee a true plot or noe this depont canot certenly depose because hee can nether write nor reade

9 Ways of seeing: taskscapes The testimony of Robert Buxton Robert Buxton aged 80 in 1611, explained that he knew the bounds of Chelmorton (Derbyshire), which began at ‘twoe lenyinge mearestones... because he hath ev[r] synce he was able contynually keepte cattle there and that his grandfather who dyed threescore and tenn yeares agoe or thereabouts and was then about fowerscore yeares of age brought this depont. to the said meares, and shewed him the same’.

10 Ways of seeing: living landscapes The testimony of Robert Heaward Robert Heaward, yeoman, Raworth, aged 83 in 1696: he has known the boundaries of Thornsett and Mellor all his life. ‘When...[he] was a boy’ a stone was set at a turning point of the boundaries. He goes on: ‘He hath known these places to be the Antient meers dureing all his remembrance & further saith that one Thomas Heward who was a near neighbour to this depont. & was near a hundred years old at his death & dyed about fifty years ago hath often told this depont. tht the aforesd. places were the antient meers and landmarks dividing the comons betwixt Thornset & Mellor & acquainted this depont. therewith that he might take notice thereof when he was dead and gone’.

11 Civic space: Cunningham’s map of 1558

12 L ‘St Willms in the wood where it is saide that in tymes past an Infnt namyd Willm was buried whom the Jewes had crucefied in the Citty of Norwich uppone a Good Friday in contempt of Christianetie’ ‘Lollards pytt where the marters Dyed ‘Sct. Leonards nowe callyd Mownt Surry’ ‘The Oke of Reformation so calyld by Kett the Rebell’

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