|Admin History||The papers form part of the larger estate archive of Lord Middleton, the majority of which were generated in the course of the management of the family's extensive estate business. They are a section of the sub-fonds Mi A-X. This online catalogue is presented separately because of constraints of size.|
See the fonds entry for the Middleton Collection (Mi) for details about the Willoughby family, Barons Middleton, and their papers.
|Custodial History||These papers are part of the main Middleton collection acquired in 1947 (see also Mi 1-7).|
|Description||This section contains title deeds from the counties of Nottinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Flintshire, Glamorganshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire. It also contains marriage and other settlements.|
This series of 'early deeds', in distinction to the series of more modern deeds, listed at Mi Da, is part of the collection numbered Mi A-X. The vast majority of deeds in this section are medieval, and a significant number are earlier than 1300. However, there are also some items from the early modern period and early deeds can also be found amongst the bundles of later deeds listed at Mi Da.
The series includes material relating to many counties. Nottinghamshire is the most strongly represented county with deeds for places such as Willougby-on-the-Wolds and Sutton Passeys. There are also a significant number of deeds for Warwickshire, Dorset, Kent, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Shropshire.
Title deeds from the 12th to the 20th centuries form a major part of the collection. These relate to the family's main estates in Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and Yorkshire but many other English counties are also represented and there is some material relating to Ireland, 16th-17th centuries. The collection also includes a number of cartularies covering the period 1258-1690. The most significant of the cartularies is that for the Abbey of Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, which records lands in Derbyshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire and includes copies of many documents of political and military interest. Other documents relating to title and land transfer can be found in the complementary group, catalogued as Mi 1-7.
The original catalogue provided very little information about the individual deeds - the date or approximate date, and the place to which the deed relates, being the only recorded information. Since the compilation of the first list, further detailed work has been undertaken on the medieval deeds, particularly those relating to the East Midlands area and Warwickshire. Consequently, more detailed summaries of a large number of the medieval deeds are now available through the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, and on a searchable database within the Reading Room at the University's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections.