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Helmdon Historical Documents




(Information from the Archivist, Janie Cottis,  prior to a visit to the college by Val and Stewart Moir, Audrey Forgham and Will Watson in 1996.  Unfortunately no other papers have come to light.   Indeed there is no record that the visit ever took place.)

1. Deeds c.1270 – 1595 and 1759

These are mainly in Latin, but there is a fairly detailed transcript calendar in English, available in the search room.  The relevant volume is Northants III, 299 – 378

2. Estate Papers

I enclose photocopies of our main list of estate papers for Helmdon. In addition there is:
ES/6/4: collection of surveys and valuations including Helmdon, c.1813.

3. Manorial court books

There is a court roll for Helmdon, dated 1567.  I am not aware of any entries for Helmdon in the court books for mixed manors, but you can check volume 2 of the “Catalogue of Estate Records” when you visit the archives.

4. Accounts

Accounts for Helmdon are included with Brackley circuit accounts from 1564, and these are listed in vol 3 of the ‘Catalogue’, pp 502 – 532.

5. Lease Counterparts, 1697 – 1863

These have the catalogue reference LE/30.  There are also lease registers for the College estates in general, which go up to 1835 (EL/series), but they are large and cumbersome to use, and are not indexed.

6 . Maps

MP/1/54: estate map dated 1763

ES/3/27 sketch map dated 1820

MP/3/31: estate map 1899

MP/2/Northants/9: reference book (only) 1892

MP/2/Northants/14-15: map and reference book, 1913

7.General registers, estate volumes and minute books

Note:  these have not yet been checked to see if they contain Helmdon references.

CP/8/1-29:  estate registers 1900 – 1945

CP/3/6-12:   rental volumes, 1551 – 1791

CP/3/13-14: entry fines registers, c. 1721 – c. 1878

CMM/1:        Acta, i.e. orders of the governing body, from 1702

BCM/1          proceedings of the Bursarial Committee, from 1885

(Access to minutes and orders less than 80 years old is restricted.)

Helmdon, Northamptonshire, SP 590432.  Magdalen College acquired land in Helmdon in 1562, 1563 and 1595.  Part of the property had previously been held by Biddlesden Abbey, Bucks.

The revenues from the manor were entered in the Brackley circuit accounts.



Helmdon 1 – 89,     calendared by W D Macray, Northamptonshire III, 299 – 378: c. 1270 – 1759.  This series of deeds also contains the evidences for Harringworth which are unconnected with Helmdon.


127/21 Receipt for a quit rent due to the Crown from Magdalen College lands.

20 Oct 1571  One paper

Terriers, rentals, views, surveys and valuations

CP8/30 Terrier of land at Helmdon 1530  One volume

 Helmdon, Northants, terriers, rentals, views, surveys and valuations cont.

Reference  Adds. 48  Terrier of land demised to William Nicholls 1611

Four membranes, glued Chancery fashion.

137/27 Terrier of land of the late John Fowkes  23 July 1622

Two membranes, glued Chancery fashion

254/5 Rental 1660-3                      See Brackley

75/62 View of the College’s estate in Helmdon made immediately prior to enclosure, with notes on the values of leases, where land lies in the open field, stone quarrying and standing timber.        n.d. c.1758   Four paper leaves

D-Y 403  Helmdon, Tackley, Kirtlington, Aynho, Brackley

Survey and vacation of estates    29 Jun 1813      one paper


Map of Helmdon    see Aynho    1763


Court Rolls

Helmdon           Court roll of the Abbey of Biddlesden   3,M   14 Jun 1389 Northants

one membrane   III , 314

Helmdon           Court roll of the Abbey of Biddlesden   30, M.    10 Oct 1513 Northants

One membrane   III, 344

Legal Papers

Helmdon            26, M   Northants III, 301

 Statement that Thomas Darderne held Biddlesden Abbey, the grange of Helmdon with lands in Duryfeld, and that he destroyed a hall, a grange, cowhouse, sheepfold, kitchen and other buildings, with the houses of Walter Cappe, Robert Wyllon, Nicholas Cappe, William Taillour and John Clerk  - in all twenty six houses destroyed and ten score trees felled

One membrane      n.d, mid 14th cent.

137/26 Depositions in a case concerning  timber taken from Green Way and Daventry Way.      n.d. c.1570 – 90   One paper



75/68        Letter  from Mr. Burton to Dr Jenner, President of Magdalen College: advises that the enclosure petition should not be obstructed and claims that the restraining clause is not unreasonable.  The details of the estate are to be procured as soon as possible but it cannot be done with any exactitude before the last day for the presentation of petitions for private bills – but, nevertheless, it will be justly done.  The College should give a very general answer to the petition.  The college owes Mr Burton on the Evenley account and vice versa on the Plummers Furze estate.  The repairs continue at Evenley.

n.d. c.1758   One paper

75/65         Letter from George Thomas, at Helmdon to Mr Francis Burton, begging him to present the petition for enclosure to Parliament.

5 Feb 1758      One  paper

75/63         Letter from Mr Burton, at Aynho, to Magdalen College, respecting the enclosure at Helmdon:  he has made considerable progress on surveying the College estate  but the work is not yet complete.  He argues against any consideration being given to the tenants for their expenses as, proportionately, their money is being improved more from the College’s estate.  Mrs Jackson wants to sell her lease and Mr Burton wants to buy it.  The rector still opposes the enclosure.  











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