Example of a Dulwich court roll

Dulwich Manor Court Rolls

Thanks to Dulwich College, and in particular to the Keeper of the Archives Calista Lucy, the Court Rolls of the Manor of Dulwich have all now been photographed to a high resolution, and Patrick Darby of the Dulwich Society Local History Group has been transcribing and translating them from the original Latin.

The court rolls go back to 1333 and deal with issues like tenancies, disputes and minor criminal acts. The lord of the manor of Dulwich presided but Dulwich inhabitants presented the agenda and it seems that locals had quite some control over their own affairs.

Images of those Rolls up to 1672, with their transcriptions and translations, are now available to view below, and later Rolls will be added in due course.

Patrick Darby has written an introduction to these remarkable insights into everyday life in Dulwich past.

The rolls are arranged by date, the English translation and the Latin transcript follow, both in pdfs, then the images of the rolls in jpegs; both the front and back have been photographed where appropriate.

Introductory Essay by Patrick Darby (PDF)

 

Translation (PDF), Transcript (PDF), Front Image (JPEG), Back Image (JPEG)

  • 1333 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells how some inhabitants of Dulwich let their animals into the lord of the manor’s fields and how they were fined for trespass
  • February and April 1334 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of an inhabitant threatening another and also of people fined for trespass
  • April and June 1334 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of people damaging the corn with horses and sheep and a woman complaining someone has cut down hedges belonging to her son
  • October and November 1334, and January and May 1335 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll covers trespass, crop damage and two husbands accusing each other of violence against their wives
  • May, July and September 1335 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of a man moving a field boundary and of making the roadway impassable
  • Undated but somewhere between 1340 and 1370 - translation - transcript - back
    this court roll gives a list of suitors to the court
  • 21 May 1376 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll gives a list of suitors to the court
  • 1380 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer and the death of a tenant
  • 1387 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer (later rescinded after a legal dispute)
  • 1397 or 1398 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll gives a list of suitors to the court
  • 1399, and January and July 1400 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells how poachers came with ferrets and snares to steal rabbits; and how others were fined for anything from fighting to being a ‘huckster’ to not clearing their ditches
  • 1400, 1401, and early 1402 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of unscoured ditches, a stray horse and fines for those who do not present their pigs for pannage (releasing them onto the common to eat the acorns which can be toxic to other livestock)
  • September 1402 and 14 May 1403 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of tenants asking for a road to have a gutter added, of ditches not being cleaned, charges for piglets and people grazing animals where they should not
  • 21 May 1403 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a transfer of land from Sir Robert Knolles to Sir Robert Denny
  • December 1403 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records disputes over cattle and land, trespass, theft and Sir Robert Denny carrying away 60 loads of clay
  • 1404 and 1405 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of tenants overburdening the common land with grazing cattle and cutting down trees without permission
  • 1406 and January 1407 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records land surrendered, trespass and charges for piglets
  • 1407 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of land surrendered in Croxstrete (Croxted Rd), trespass, stray horses and rent arrears
  • circa 1409 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this much-damaged court roll records charges for piglets and a breach of the peace
  • 1410 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details the work of the Bailiff and a tenant digging turf without permission
  • 1411 and 1412 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll includes several wives or widows who appear at the court in their own right
  • July 1420 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll told of a tenant making fealty
  • June 1422 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded three copyhold transfers
  • September 1422 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • October 1422 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1424 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded two copyhold transfers
  • 1428 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of people selling ale by false measures and of piglets tresspassing
  • 1429 and 1431 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records pig pannage, felling trees without permission and overburdening the Common with 300 sheep
  • 1432 and 1433 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of the highway and the path to the church being flooded due to people not clearing their ditches
  • 1434 and 1435 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of an inhabitant making a path for his sheep without permission, overgrazing of the common land, and allowing the paths to the church to flood and become overgrown
  • 1436 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details people selling ale by false measures, piglet pannage, land surrendered and someone stealing cattle
  • 1438 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details people not clearing their ditches, including the lord of the manor
  • 1438 and 1439 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records stray horses and a stray red cow, charges for piglets and people stealing wood
  • 1440 and 1441 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details unscoured ditches, a stray horse and charges for piglets
  • 1442 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records someone digging turf without permission, floods due to uncleared ditches and firewood theft
  • 1443 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded successive transfers of a copyhold ‘messuage’ and 30 acres
  • 1444 and 1445 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details how much tenants must pay the lord of the manor for pasturing their piglets and cattle
  • April 1448 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded two copyhold transfers
  • 1448 and 1453 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this copyhold deed (not a court roll) records John Brutone’s acquisition of three copyholds and other land
  • 1449 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded another acquision by John Brutone of copyhold land
  • 1453 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded two copyhold transfers
  • 1454 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1457 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1458 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1465 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1466 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • June 1467 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • October 1467 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1468 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records stray animals, rent arrears, overgrazing the common
  • 1469 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records various fines and electing various officers
  • July 1471 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • October 1471 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • April 1472 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of people felling trees without permission, surrendering land and paying fines
  • October 1472 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • November 1475 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1481 - translation - transcript
    this court roll records a copyhold transfer from a recently-deceased tenant to his widow and son successively
  • 1486 and 1487 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells the story of four assaults: with staffs, a bill-hook and a pitchfork. It also records ditches not scoured and a fence illegally erected
  • 1488, 1489 and 1490 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells the story of assaults, two attacks on livestock by dogs including one which killed a bullock, ditch issues and land surrenders
  • 1492 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records ditches uncleared, trees felled without permission and stray horses
  • 1493 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of overloading the common grazing ground and ditches uncleared
  • April 1494 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll covers land seized by the lord of the manor, surrenders and a fine for encroaching on the lord’s land
  • October 1494 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of ale sellers pricing their beer above that allowed by law, the election of officers and various fines
  • 1495 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of people felling trees without permission, of over-grazing the common, of assault with a bow and of allowing pigs onto the Common without permission
  • July 1497 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details the land of recently deceased tenants
  • 1503 or 1504 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1506 or 1507 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • October 1507 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1519 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells the story of assaults, theft of wood, unringed pigs and the transfer of tenancies
  • 1521 and 1522 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of theft of wood, over-grazing the Common and stray horses and ewes
  • 1523 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of assaults with billhooks and fines for uncleared ditches, moving hedges to gain land and digging a pit for clay under a barn
  • 1533 and 1534 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells the story of a baker who sold under-sized bread, a brewer who made unwholesome ale, stray animals and how it is forbidden to collect crab apples before the feast of St Bartholomew
  • 1534 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details stray animals, assault and tenancy records
  • January 1536 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details the start of an inheritance dispute between members of the Dove family
  • 1536 and 1537 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll continues the Dove dispute, and records a copyhold transfer, uncleared ditches, and a dog destroying farm animals
  • 1536 and 1537 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records developments in the Dove family inheritance case
  • May 1538 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details stray animals and tenancy agreements
  • 1546 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll (in English) records brewers selling unlawful measures and people breaking hedges and stealing wood
  • 1552 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells the story of baker and brewers overcharging and a couple of ill repute and dishonest dealings
  • 1553 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records tenancy agreements and cattle destroying woods
  • 1556, 1557 and 1559 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of unclaimed animals being given to the lady of the manor, and of people being gossips and disturbing the peace
  • 1561 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of inhabitants being ordered to do various repairs and no one is to thrash down acorns on the common and sell them
  • 1562 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of William Henley who broke the head of William Brown with a pugio or dagger
  • circa 1563 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this barely-legible court roll includes references to unscoured ditches and unauthorised felling of trees
  • 1564 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details various repairs that need to be undertaken
  • 1564 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this continuation court roll tells of John Bagger who sold ale for far too much
  • 1566 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records hedge disputes and blocked drains
  • 1568 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of a doublet of sackcloth and a shirt that was abandoned by a fugitive felon, felling crab apple trees and driving animals
  • 1572 and 1573 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details how three white sheep strayed into Dulwich and were kept by one of the tenants, how someone was fined for felling a tree and how men from Penge illegally pastured animals on the Common
  • 1574 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details a dispute between a ‘man of straw’ and the lord of the manor Nicholas Calton
  • March 1576 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details a stray horse and calf, and the theft of various items
  • October 1576 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded fines for not scouring ditches, and a copyhold transfer
  • 1578 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells the story of some inhabitants playing cards and selling ale when they should not
  • April 1579 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details people elected to various duties including being sworn to the assizes
  • December 1579 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records a copyhold transfer
  • April 1581 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records fines for people letting their piglets roam on the Common without permission
  • June 1581 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records the transfer of land between tenants
  • 1582 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1584 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders people to make ladder stiles, repair ditches and of land surrendered
  • 1586 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records fines and changes of tenancy
  • 1587 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders people to get their cattle off the Common and fines two men for playing bowls
  • 1588 - translation - transcript - back
    this court roll (front side) records a copyhold transfer
  • April 1590 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records a land transaction, fines for people letting their piglets roam on the Common without permission, and ditch repairs
  • November 1590 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • December 1590 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • April 1592 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • November 1592 - translation - transcript - back
    this court roll (back side) records the surrender of land
  • May 1595 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • October 1595 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • October and November 1596 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records fines for men for not wearing caps on Sundays and holy days, playing bowls in undesignated space and other misdemeanours
  • December 1596 - translation - transcript
    this (missing) court roll recorded a copyhold transfer
  • 1600 and 1602 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of someone stealing pigs and of assault and affray and various tenancy matters
  • 1604 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records copyhold transfers
  • 1604 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this continuation court roll details ditches to be scoured, cattle tresspassing and firewood theft
  • March 1605 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records a copyhold transfer, and a surrender of Kennall Acre to the lord of the Manor
  • 1606 and 1607 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records fines for selling short measures and tells of a tenant who should have a cartway
  • 1608 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders people to ring their pigs and clean their ditches, and records impounding of horses and cows and fines for short measures
  • 1610 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details someone blocking a path and orders others to scour their ditches, and various other matters including stinking starch water, an unauthorised sawpit and selling short measures
  • 1611 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders people to make their footways safe for passers-by, to scour their ditches and details misdemeanours involving livestock and short measures
  • 1613 and 1615 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of land surrendered to the lord of the manor, ditch scouring and gate and stile mending
  • 1619 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records that tenants have allowed the stiles and bridges leading from Camberwell to fall into decay and the Bailiff has not operated the Pound properly
  • 1620 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders a tenant to reinstate a part of the Common that he has appropriated, scouring of ditches, highway repairing and bakers selling short measures
  • 1621 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of a tenant who built a toilet to the ‘serious annoyance’ of Thomas Calton, and anti social behaviours including urinating in ponds and dumping a dead horse on the highway
  • 1622 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells of tenants fined for not repairing the highway, bakers selling short measures and a dead pig dumped on the highway
  • 1623 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders tenants to scour their ditches, carry out highway maintenance and records an unlicensed victualling house
  • April 1626 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records Favor Fox being fined for selling overpriced ale and for entertaining servants in his house to the detriment of their masters, and bakers selling short measures
  • October 1626 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records fines for keeping an inn without a licence and for not repairing the common roads, and a baker selling short measures
  • 1627 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll instructs tenants to construct boundary posts and practise archery and records fines for an unlicensed inn and bakers selling short measures
  • 1629 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records a juror fined for being drunk on court day, an innkeeper fined for keeping a disorderly house, a baker selling short measures and orders all inhabitants to obtain arrows and bows
  • 1630 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders inhabitants to clean their ditches and meet highway maintenance obligations
  • 1630 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records inhabitants fined for not doing obligatory work on the highway
  • 1631 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this continuation court roll orders tenants to perform repairs on the public road, and records fines for a disorderly alehouse, a baker selling short measures and a resident is instructed to evict an unmarried pregnant woman from his house and the Lordship
  • 1633 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll fines tenants for not performing various repairs and work on the public realm of Dulwich and illegal sheep grazing
  • 1634 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders tenants to scour ditches and construct bridges and water gates and a fine for a disorderly alehouse
  • 1635 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders two tenants to move barns which had been erected on the public highway in times past, a ban on digging loam near the Burial Ground and other misdemeanours
  • 1636 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll tells people to ring their piglets, to stop digging near the Burial Ground and to keep their hunting dogs under control, and orders for ditch maintenance
  • 1641 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records fines for selling undersized bread, for not cleaning ditches, for not repairing the public highways and records that only resident householders may graze cattle on Common Land
  • 1645 and 1646 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll fines various men for allowing various other poorer men to live in Dulwich without the permission of the other inhabitants
  • 1647 and 1648 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records land changing ownership and people being ordered to repair fences, potholes, ditches and the Village Pound
  • 1649, 1650 and 1651 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll orders inhabitants to scour their ditches, mend their fences and maintain the pund with gravel so that the animals don’t get muddy
  • 1652, 1653 and 1654 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records fines for residents not sending labourers to maintain the highway and a widow for using too much furze from the Common
  • 1655 and 1656 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records land surrendered and various fines, including for unringed pigs and order for removal of a cottage built without permission
  • 1657 and 1658 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details land surrendered
  • 1659, 1660, 1661 and 1662 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details people elected to various duties including Henry Constable elected as Constable (sic)
  • 1663, 1664, 1665,1666 and 1667 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll details people elected to various duties
  • 1668, 1669, 1670, 1671 and 1672 - translation - transcript - front - back
    this court roll records people elected to various duties and inhabitants ordered to cleanse their ditches

Additional Images (JPEG) - work in progress

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