ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2005-12 > 1134047488
From: Adrian Gray <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Manor documents - a bit OT
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 13:11:28 +0000 (GMT)
References: <20051206161126.ED88B131B6@webmail221.herald.ox.ac.uk> <000001c5fb5b$9f200a40$0c49fd3e@oemcomputer>
I'd like to say thank you to everyone for their views on Manor Rolls - I've
found quite a bit out I didn't know already so it's been very useful!
I ought to have put my earlier message in a bit more context. I'm in the first
year of a Diploma in English Local History here at the University of Oxford
(note that I put that bit in for snob value!). It's one of the reasons I've not
contributed to this list half as much as I have in the past because trying to do
a course, even part time, and working as well is a pain in the lower regions.
Spare time has become an alien concept. This is one reason I did it now, before
I had anything like children or mortgage to cope with!
The choices for our next essay are on Domesday (interesting, but not THAT
interesting) or on early medieval Manorial records - court rolls etc. The ones
we've been looking at in lectures are from Oxfordshire, and date to around
1280-1320. Family history it isn't, whatever Elmo says (thank you for the
support, though!), as it's very hard to trace families - though probably not
impossible, as you do see names being passed on with time. However they do
provide some really quite intimate glimpses into ordinary life back then which
Domesday cannot, hence my interest.
Essay deadlines don't allow a great deal of latin to be learnt. If, like me, you
are easily amused by being rude in a foreign language I'd recommend "X-Treme
Latin" by Henry Beard, by the way. I'd give an example but I'm sure a latin
reader out there will translate and Elmo will smack my bottom for being rude...
I was hoping to find some translated ones for Essex as that's where I consider
as my stamping ground, despite now living here in Oxford. I have a couple of
good leads now, and lots of ideas of places to look for my family when this
course is over in two years time, so although a lot of the answers - due to my
failing to state clearly what I was really after - are not really what I was
looking for it has all been very interesting.
Now, here's a point to ponder. The Manor Court Rolls are in Latin. They appear
to have been written actually at the Court itself, the proceedings of which
would have been in Middle English (eg Chaucer's English). So being a scribe or
clerk was no sinecure if you had to be able to do that. As you have probably
guessed from this rambling message, I can't even be coherent in one language at