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Phillipps Charters

Date range: 12th-17th centuries.

Assortment of over five hundred charters and other records which once formed part of the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792–1872), antiquary and bibliophile, at Middle Hill, Broadway in Worcestershire.

They were acquired by the Library either directly at the Phillipps sales or through various booksellers.

There are numerous medieval charters and other records relating to religious houses and bishoprics throughout France and Belgium, and deeds relating to secular estates, particularly in Tournai. The former include:

  • papal bulls of Hadrian IV (1157)
  • Clement III (1191)
  • Gregory IX (1236)
  • Alexander IV (1255)
  • Nicholas V (1451)
  • Paul IV (1556) and Gregory XIII (1572)
  • briefs of Popes Paul V (1616) and Innocent X (1650)

Other notable medieval documents are:

  • the settlement for the unrealized marriage of Isabella (1332-1379), daughter of Edward III, and Louis, Count of Flanders (1347)
  • compotus rolls from Norfolk (1277-1576)
  • accounts of royal silver mines near Calstock, Cornwall (1317)
  • royal wardrobe accounts (1313-1314)

In addition, the collection incorporates many medieval charters, such as grants, quitclaims, agreements, bonds and letters of attorney, for numerous English counties, particularly Derbyshire (especially Ashbourne, Castleton, Swadlincote and Taddington), Durham (Stainton), Huntingdonshire (Stilton), Kent (Charing and Willesborough), Staffordshire (Enville and Whittington), and Yorkshire (Beswick, Lockington and Middleton near Rothwell).

Finding aids

  • Published handlist, Robert Fawtier, Handlist of Charters, Deeds, and Similar Documents in the Possession of the John Rylands Library, vol. 1 (Manchester, 1925).
  • Also available online via the A2A website.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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