The corporation of Coventry: Books

Pages 103-108

The Manuscripts of Shrewsbury and Coventry Corporations [Etc] Fourth Report, Appendix: Part X. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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Of these volumes the most noteworthy are the following:—

1. Escheats.

27 Edward I.–16 Elizabeth.—Collection of Escheators' Inquests post mortem, bound together, lettered "Inq. Post Mortem."

2. Chartulary.

Henry IV.–Henry VIII.—Chartulary and Deeds Register: a vellum quarto in clog-cover, containing in the opening entries a few matters of earlier times.

3. Leet Books.

(a) 8 Henry V.–1 and 2 Philip and Mary.—Leet Book of the City: a book of the highest moment to students of municipal institutions and usages.

(b) 30 Elizabeth–1834.—A second volume, less interesting than the preceding one; but noteworthy in its earlier part for matters illustrating the government, condition, industries, and manners of the city in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

4. Craft of the Carpenters.

(a) Henry VI.–Edward IV.—Book of the Receipts and Payments of successive Masters of the Company of the Craft of Carpenters.

(b) 1478–1652.—Another Book of the Receipts and Payments of successive Masters.

5. Guild of Corpus Christi and St. Nicholas.

3 Henry VIII.–1 Mary.—Book of the yearly accounts of successive Masters of the Guild of Corpus Christi and St. Nicholas, closing with the account of Thomas Leche, bailiff of the possessions of the late Guild of Corpus Christi for one year, made 24th November, 1 Mary. Defective in the later part. This bulky folio has been bound in a modern leather cover, correctly and fully lettered on the back.

6. Chamberlains' Books.

(a) 14 Henry VII.—16 Elizabeth.—Book of the yearly accounts of successive Chamberlains.

(b) 17 Elizabeth–11 Charles I.—A second Book of the accounts.

(c) 12 Charles I.–9 Anne.—A third Book of the accounts of successive Wardens and Chamberlains.

7. Manor of Cheillesmore.

1542–1561.—Account Book of the Manor of Cheillesmore, having this statement of its contents on its opening leaf: 'This booke conteyneth aswell the receites of al sommes of money brought in and payd to the Chambre or treasorie of the Citie of Coventrie, as well by the Chamberleyns wardens and all other accomptantes of the seid citie, as otherwise, yerlie commyng and growing to the use of the commoinaltie or comen box of the same citie, as also dyvers charities paymentes and deduccions out of the same, and also what revenewes and profittes and yerlie impositions and charges be to the citie for everie Meires tyme as hereafter in the same more plenlie may appear.'

8. Loans and Allowances.

(a) 1551–1704.—Folio Register of payments made, by way of loan or allowance, out of various estates held by the Mayor and community of Coventry in trust for charitable uses, to wit, the Charity Estates of Lady Spencer, Mr. Symon Parker, Mr. White of Bristowe, Mr. Willyngton, Mr. John Talente, Mr. Nethermyll, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Tompson, Mr. Over, Mr. Niccolls, Mr. Elkinton, Mrs. Elizabeth Sharratt, Mrs. Jane Picken, Mr. Wheatleye, Mr. Haddon, Mr. Sale, Mr. Davenport, and others.

(b) 19 Elizabeth–1625.—Similar folio Register of Loans and Allowances.

(c) 1736–1779.—Book of Loans: being 'An Account of the Loan money of Sir Thomas White, which has been retained by the Corporation of Coventry since the pronouncing of the Decree dated on the twentieth day of December in 1723.'

9. Overseers of Bablake Hospital.

1561–1573.—Separate Accounts of successive Overseers of the Bablake Hospital, bound together in a modern leather cover, correctly lettered on the back.

10. Municipal Treasury Books.

(a) 1561–1653.—Book of Payments made out of the Municipal Treasury. The first leaf is headed with this description: "In this booke be mencioned and wrytten all and singuler summes of money whiche have been taken of the Treasurie of this citie and payed."

(b) 20 Charles II.–1698.—Folio of yearly Accounts of successive Bailiffs and Receivers of the rents and revenues from the lands and tenements, &c., formerly belonging to the Guilds and Chantries.

(c) 1692–1701.—Large Folio of similar yearly Accounts.

(d) 1700–1701.—Book of Accounts of the Bailiff and Receiver of "the rents and revenues of the lands and tenements called the Guilds and Chantrys": containing a comprehensive Rental of the various lauds, tenements and stocks in the hands of the Corporation for municipal and charitable uses.

(e) 1728–1734.—Book of Payments out of the same estates.

11. Charities.

17 Elizabeth–2 James II.—Large Folio of the yearly Accounts of successive Bailiffs and receivers of the rents and revenues from lands and tenements, &c., held by the Corporation for charitable uses.

12. Tithe Accounts.

(a) 1577–1697.—A defective collection of Tithe Accounts, bound together in a modern leather cover, lettered at the back, "City of Coventry. Tithe Accounts, 1597."

(b) 1608–1705.—Twenty-eight separate Tithe Account Books of the following years, to wit, 1608, 1609, 1611, 1614, 1615, 1616, 1617, 1619, 1622, 1675, 1679, 1684, 1685, 1688, 1689, 1690, 1691, 1692, 1693, 1694, 1695, 1697, 1698, 1702, 1703, 1704, 1705.

(c) 1612.—Tithe-Book anno 1612: bound in a modern leathercover, lettered at the back, "Tythe Book—1612."

(d) 1822–1830.—Ledger of the City's Tithe-Accounts, lettered on one of the sides and on the back, "Corporation Tithe Accounts."

13. Lands and Tenements of the City.

23 Elizabeth.—Survey of all the lands and tenements of the Corporation of the City of Coventre "Surveid by John Emerson, the Bailiffe of the lands late Yeldes and Chauntries in the said Cittie, and Thomas Banester the Clarke to the Counsell of the same Cittie."

14. Lands of the Lordship of Stoke.

1617.—Survey of lands in the Lordship of Stoke, headed on its first page, "The Survey of those severall landes in the Lordship of Stoke, which the freehoulders and tenants intend to lay in several flattes, begonn the 26 daie of January 1617 and ended the . . . . of . . . ."

15. Flattes in Stoke Common Fields.

1617–1619.—"Booke of the laying forth of the Flattes in Stoke Common feildes and meadowes begonn March 12, 1617, and ended in September, 1619: Which was done by the opinions and consent of the names of theise which follow, viz., Mr. Thomas Ligons for Lord Berkeley and Mr. Ralph English his tenant, Mr. Christofer Waryn freehoulder, Mr. Samuell Myles for the City of Coventrey and for the Drapers being their tenant, Mr. John Hammond, Doctor in Physick freehoulder, Mr. Reginald Horne freehoulder, Mr. Christofer Roudell freeholder, and John Sharman tenant to the City of Coventre."

16. Lordship of Gadsby, Co. Leicester.

1625.—A Terrier of all "the arable lands leyes and meadows" in the lordship of Gadsby co. Leicester, belonging to the Mayor, bailiffs and community of Coventre.

17. Burton's Book of Records and Evidences.

10 Charles I.—Burton's Book: a large folio described on its opening leaf as "A collection of divers Records, deeds, evidences, and proceedings concerning the great Suit in Chancerie brought against this Citie of Coventrie and others by Prince Charles for £98 6s. 8d. rent per annum as parcell of the Dutchie of Cornewall, taken out of the Tower, Augmentacion Office, Rolls and other places, and of certain charters belonging to this citie &c."

18. Ship-Money.

1635–1637.—Book of matters touching ship money: containing on its fly-leaf this note by the maker of the book: "This Booke touching ship money raised in Warwickshire sheweth the manner and proceedings thereabouts, and how that the Citie of Coventrey and the Countie thereof is to be rated but at a fifteenth part of Warwickshire, in all levies assessments and taxacions wherein the said Citie joineth with the countie of Warwick, and that it is so ordered by the right honourable the Lords and others of his Majesties most honourable Privie Councill, for the future quietness of that City in all such services and assessments whatsoever."

19. Hospital in Grey Friars Lane.

1648.—History of the Hospital or Almshouse in Grey Friars Lane in the city of Coventre, from the time of its foundation in the reign of Henry VIII.

20. Murage Book.

1650.—"The Murage Booke of all tenements within the walls of the City of Coventre."

21. Rate for better Maintenance of Ministers.

1652.—Book of "The Rate and Assessment of all houses, shops, warehouses, cellars, stables and all other landes, tenementes and here ditaments in the said citie of Coventrie at eighteen pence in the pound per annum, and for everie ten shillings nyne-pence per annum, for raising of maintenance for the Ministers of the said Citie by vertue of an Act of Parliament, dated the 21st of March 1650, intituled 'An Act for the more frequent preaching of the Gospell, and better maintenaunce of the Ministers in the Citie of Coventrie.'"

22. Corvisors' Company.

1653–1760.—An imperfect series of the Accounts of the Corvisors' or Curriers' Company, bound in a modern leather cover, lettered at the back "Cordwainers' Company, Accounts, 1653–1760."

23. Tailors and Clothworkers.

1659–1660.—Book of the Taylors' and Clothworkers' Company, in the time of Henry Ashburne, Master.

24. Indexes of Deeds.

(a) 17th century.—Index of Deeds, in handwriting of the later part of the seventeenth century, lettered on the back of its modern leather cover, "Citie of Coventre, Index of Deeds, &c."

(b) 17th century.—An Alphabetical Index to the Deeds and Evidences in the Treasury of the City, made towards the close of the seventeenth century, and perfected from an Index made in September 1621, which in May 1832 was in the possession of Mr. Thomas Sharp.

25. Sword and Mace Riots.

1713.—Papers touching a cause between the Attorney General, plaintiff, and the Mayor, bailiffs, and community of the City of Coventry, defendants: in a volume lettered on the back "Sword and Mace Riots 1713."

26. Tailors" and Sheremen's Company.

1728–1724.—Papers of the Tailors' Company, put together in chronological disorder, bound in a leather cover, and lettered on the back, "Order Book—Tailors' and Sheremen's Company 1728."

27. Drapers' Company.

1729.—Abstract of the Deeds and Writings of Lands, &c., belonging to the Drapers' Company in the City of Coventry: and lettered thus on the back.

28. Sacrament Certificates.

1720–1730.—Collection of Sacrament Certificates, bound together in a leather cover and lettered on the back.

29. Streets' Commissioners.

1790–1807.—Streets' Commissioners' Book, to wit, "Proceedings and Orders made at meetings of the Commissioner appointed to execute the Act of Parliament 'for the better paving cleansing lighting and watching the City of Coventry and the suburbs thereof, and removing and preventing nuisances and annoyances therein.'"

30. Register Of Charity Estates.

1813.—Register of the Charity Estates of the City, lettered on the back of its leather cover "Charity Memorial Register," opening with "a Memorial or Statement in pursuance of an Act of Parliament for the Registering and Securing of Charitable Donations," giving particulars of "the Charity Estate called Sir Thomas White's Charity."

31. Leases of Charity Estates.

1819–1845.—Book of Charity Estates: setting forth the Estates under the management of the Trustees of the General Charities of the City, together with the names of the several lessees, the amount of rent paid yearly by each, the term of years for which each estate is let, and the date at which each term will expire.

32. Original Letters.

A collection completed in 1834 by Mr. Thomas Sharp and Mr. George Eld of Original Letters and Papers, beginning with a letter written in behalf of the Friars Minors of Coventre by Queen Isabella to the Mayor, bailiffs and commonalty of Coventre, and closing with the Indenture, dated on 24th October 1704, of the acknowledgment made by Samuel Billing, Maior elect of the City of Coventry, of his receipt of the silver plate and other things of the Corporation, and of his promise to restore the same to the Treasury on the determination of his mayoralty. This collection was made, arranged, and bound by Messrs. Sharp and Eld in two large folios, lettered on back "Original Letters and Papers."

33. Territorial Extent Of Coventry.

1839.—Reports made by Mr. Stacey Grimaldi to Messrs. Troughton and Lea, solicitors of the Corporation of Coventry on the territorial extent of the town or city of Coventre, &c., after searching public and other records "in order to ascertain whether the Hamlets of Ansty, Exhall, Foleshill, Keresley, Sowe, Stivichall, Stoke, and Wyken are or were antiently within the town of Coventry or the jurisdiction of the same." Large Folio, lettered on the back, "City of Coventry. Reports as to the territorial extent of the City of Coventry and jurisdiction of the Corporation of Coventry over adjoining hamlets."

34. Coventry Boundary Case.

1839–1842.—Book of the Case for the City of Coventry, with brief delivered to counsel, in the cause in the Court of Exchequer between the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the City of Coventry, plaintiffs, against Edmund Lythall, William Wilson and seven others, defendants. Lettered on the back of its leather cover, "City of Coventry. Boundary Case. Brief, &c."

Those of the one hundred and eighty-eight volumes that are not mentioned in the foregoing list of the more important, comprise Rentals of 1552 and subsequent years, an imperfect series of Council Books beginning in 1557 (twenty-four volumes), fifteen volumes of Court Books beginning in 1585, a collection of Constables' Presentments (1629–1742), translations into English of divers of the Latin charters and Letters Patent of the City, ten volumes of Sessions of Peace or Petty Sessions Books (1689–1835), collections of Tavern Bills and other old bills, several compilations touching the history of Coventre, reports of municipal boards and committees, and divers other matters lying outside the scope of H.M. Commission on Historical MSS.