Leighton Buzzard Manor Court Rolls
Until the 19th century the Manor of Leighton Buzzard alias Grovebury was the principal landowner in the town. Bedfordshire Archives holds a full run of court rolls from 1393 to 1727 [KK619-715] and court books from 1704 to 1867 [X288/1-23] together with a series of indexes [X288/1-23]. Unfortunately many of the earlier court rolls were badly damaged when the cellar at Stockgrove House where they were kept flooded in 1947, and some of the 15th century rolls are illegible. There is some overlap between the two collections, with individual court rolls in the KK collection transcribed into the earlier court books held under reference X288. The service also holds court rolls for other manor which owned land in the town, the Prebendal Manor, from 1448 to 1459, 1588 to 1591, 1611 to 1622, 1627 and 1631 [KK792-1798].
As so much of the town of Leighton Buzzard and its associated settlements of Heath and Reach, Billington and Eggington was held by the Manor of Leighton Buzzard the court rolls are a valuable resource for both the history of property in the town and for family history. When copyhold tenants died, the rolls record the admission of their heirs to the property. They also record other transfers of land and property by sale, mortgages and occasionally cases in other courts relating to land. More detailed information about the proceedings of manor courts is available on the National Archives website.
Until the later part of the 18th century manor court rolls were written in Latin, which makes them difficult to access even when indexes exist, as they do for the Leighton Buzzard court book series. Thanks to the work and translation skills of a volunteer, some of the early rolls in this series are now being made available online.
Manor of Leighton Buzzard alias Grovebury Court Books
Volume 1, 1704-1714 [reference X288/1]
For each roll a brief summary has been included here, together with the full translation as a PDF file.