This brief course is designed to give an insight into the importance and scope of title-deeds and leases, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries. It will explain how and why deeds developed in such an apparently strange way, confusing to local historians. The structure of deeds will be examined to make the various types more recognisable and enable the useful sections to be distinguished from the merely formulaic. It will be shown how deeds are invaluable for showing kinship and the descent of land through generations, as well as giving precise and reliable information about the property they concern. The relevance of these details to the history of gardening will be borne in mind, particularly in the context of leases, where references to herb gardens and the state of cultivation of land, perhaps used for orchards, can give insight into past usages which might otherwise be unsuspected. Copies of documents will be distributed and discussed during the class. A knowledge of palaeography will be an obvious asset, but for those whose skills in this area are limited, there will be advice and as much tuition as the time will allow.
The course will be led by Mr John Booker and will be held at the Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter.
Places are strictly limited and preference will be given to DGT members on a first-come, first-served basis.
Contact Dr Clare Greener (e. firstname.lastname@example.org) for details and to book a place.