The Dulwich Society and Dulwich College Archives have made available hi-res images, Latin transcripts and English translations of the Dulwich court rolls covering 1333-1672; rolls up to 1908 will be uploaded on an ongoing basis. This long chronological range makes them a valuable historical source.

The court rolls deal with issues such as tenancies, disputes and minor criminal acts; the lord of the manor presided but Dulwich inhabitants had some control over their own affairs. The rolls can sound humorous:

sometimes people were fined for not bringing their pigs to Dulwich Common to eat the acorns which were toxic to other animals, at other times people were fined for letting them roam the Common. Pub landlords were fined for selling short measures, bakers for undersized bread, everyone seemed to be fined for not keeping their ditches clean.

Dulwich College Archives has photographed the court rolls to a high resolution, and Patrick Darby of the Society’s Local History Group has transcribed and translated them. Our webmaster, James Slattery-Kavanagh, has presented these highly complex documents in an engaging and contextual way so that not only scholars can access them but anyone interested in Dulwich local history. See them here: