Catalogue of Wolley Charters
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Welcome to the catalogue of the Wolley Charters, a searchable calendar of all 1039 Wolley Charters which were acquired, together with Additional MSS 6666-6718, from the bequest of Adam Wolley in 1828. This online catalogue supersedes the handwritten catalogues which hitherto have been the only means of accessing the collection.

The Catalogue of the Wolley Charters is a partnership between the British Library and Royal Holloway, University of London, and is supported by The British Academy. The British Library provides access to the charters in its reading rooms. For information about getting to the Library, opening hours and admission to the reading rooms, see Reader services


The Wolley charters range in date from the beginning of the thirteenth to the first half of the eighteenth centuries, but the majority date from the mid thirteenth to the late fourteenth centuries.

They are arranged in twelve series (i-xii).

Series i-iv and vi-x generally consist of medieval deeds, mostly relating to Derbyshire, but also including some relating to places in nearby counties such as Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Leicestershire and Cheshire.

Series v consists mainly of medieval deeds relating to locations north of Derbyshire, e.g. Yorkshire, and the towns of Berwick upon Tweed and Newcastle upon Tyne.

Series xi consists mostly of late sixteenth to early eighteenth century deeds, mainly relating to Derbyshire.

Series xii contains charters from the late fifteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, again mainly relating to Derbyshire. It includes several distinct collections, including one relating to a messuage in Cambridge, another to the family of Greaves of Youlgreave and their manor of Beeley, and an extensive collection for the Bradshaw family of Bradshaw in Derbyshire and of Marple in Cheshire.

The charters are mostly concerned with land transfers. In addition, there are some wills and marriage settlements, and a small number of other miscellaneous items, such as inventories for chantries, lists of freeholders and surveys of estates.