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Medieval Manorial Documents: Sources for Suffolk’s History

Le livre de chasse de Gaston Phébus, 15th–century (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 616

with Dr John Ridgard & Rick Osborn

at the Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 27th October, 2012

Many thousands of documents from Suffolk dating from before c.1550 have survived in upwards of 10 Records Offices, Universities, public libraries and private collections situated both in the United Kingdom and the USA. This course surveys the range of manorial documents which survive and shows how the information within them can be used in the study of local histories, using translations from the original Medieval Latin.

Provisional Programme
(There may be variations to the programme on the day – all these subjects will be covered, but not necessarily in the advertised order.)
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Brief survey of some of the main types of manuscript—Courts, Accounts, Charters/Deeds. Translation of a Manorial account and a Kitchen Account from Sibton Abbey (John Ridgard).  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Surveys, Extents and Maps (Richard Osborn).  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 Manor Courts, Leet Courts, Borough Courts, Central Courts of King’s Bench and Common Pleas. Translated selection of court ‘cases’ illustrating social and economic life in Medieval Suffolk (John Ridgard).  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Analysing Manorial Documents using modern data-handling methods (Richard Osborn).  
  16:20 Close  

About Dr John Ridgard & Rick Osborn

John Ridgard is an independent scholar whose main research interests are concentrated on 14th -century Suffolk, “the century and county which have everything”. He tutors classes in Medieval Latin Palaeography in Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich, in the autumn and spring terms. Attempts to complete a book on the Great Rising of 1381 continue to be foiled by new findings, such as the Suffolk connections of some of the leading rebels.

Rick Osborn was employed for 25 years at Sheffield Hallam University as a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and later in Software Engineering. Since retiring to Suffolk he has spent much of his time translating and analysing medieval manorial documents especially those pertaining to his home village. He has published research into the medieval mills there and is currently working on medieval and early modern maps and extents viewed as management information systems.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Denney, A.H., Sibton Abbey Estates, Vol. 2 (Suffolk Records Society)
Dyer, C., Everyday Life in Medieval England (The Hambledon Press 1994)
Lock, R., The Court Rolls of Walsham le Willows 1303-1399, 2 vols (Suffolk Records Society 1998)
Mortimer, R., Butley Priory Charters. (Suffolk Records Society)
Mortimer, R., Leiston Abbey Cartulary (Suffolk Records Society)
Ridgard, J., Medieval Framlingham: Select documents 1270-1524, Suffolk Records Society 27 (Boydell 1985).
Ridgard, J., Great Framlingham in Suffolk and the Howard Dukes of Norfolk (Blaxhall Press 2009)
Ridgard, J., & R.Norton, Food and Ale, Farming and Worship-Daily Life at Sibton Abbey (Leiston Press 2011)
Scarfe, N., The Suffolk Landscape (Hodder & Stoughton 1972, Alastair 1986)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are 38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
tel : 01394 386498

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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