Ipswich Recognizance Rolls, 1294-1327
A register of titles to property in the borough.
The recognizance rolls of Ipswich are a register of titles to property in the borough and are among the most varied and interesting of the courts records. They begin in the late thirteenth century and extend, in a series of filesand leger-books, through to the Victorian age. Their texts comprise abstracts and copies of private deeds, testaments proved in the borough court, and grants of common soil. The careful description of properties, including ownership of neighbouring tenements, and the naming of parishes, streets, and landmarks, makes them a source of great historical and topographical interest. The early part of the series is well preserved, and its continuity allows us tofollow the fortunes of individuals and of families in some detail. We can observe in these gifts, bequests, and exchanges the recruitment of the burghal community and the affiliations of its members. It also offers a varied picture of the borough court at work, both as a tribunal and as an administrative office. The contents of the first twenty-one rolls are presented in an English paraphrase that takes account of all significant variations in the originalLatin, and also indicates the clerk's marginal notes and memoranda.