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Archival description
King's Lynn Borough Archives Series
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Archive lists etc.

Schedules, inventories and reports listing or describing the borough records, including Henry Harrod's Repertory of the records, evidences etc., 1867, the manuscript of his Report on the deeds and records of the borough of King's Lynn, 1868 (published in 1874) and related correspondence, 1865-1868; J.C. Jeaffreson's report published in Historical Manuscripts Commission, Eleventh Report, Appendix 3: Manuscripts of the Corporations of Southampton and Lynn (1887).

Enrolled private deeds

Copies of deeds relating to properties in the borough, in roll form until 1735 and in books thereafter. They are unindexed except for lists in each of the books, 1751-1881, of the names of the parties to each deed. The deeds are in English from the early 18th century.

Copies of mariners' apprenticeship indentures are included in the books covering 1740-1761 (KL/C11/12-15). A separate, indexed, calendar is available of the indentures, which are not duplicated in the borough registers of apprenticeships for the period

Enrolled and deposited wills

According to the Charter of Edward III, dated 1st April 1335, all wills relating to tenements and revenues within the Borough were to be approved (approbare) and enrolled before the Mayor and burgesses in the Guildhall. The Red Register records the appointment of 'examinations testamentorum' in 1372. The majority of the wills were proved before the Bishop's Official within the Liberty of Lynn at least until 1539. Some wills are enrolled in the Red Register (KL/C10/1).

Hustings rolls

Records of the Hustings courts held on Mondays before the Mayor in the Guildhall to hear pleas of debt, trespass, and assault.

Court Leet records

The records are mainly in Latin until 1624. The Court Leet strictly belonged to the Bishop, and later to the King, as Lord of the Manor, but was leased to the Mayor and burgesses.

Commissions of the Peace

Letters patent appointing Justices of the Peace, 1412 and 1836-7. The Commission of the Peace, 1834, which became estranged from the borough archives, is available separately as KL/D3/1.

Royal Charters and Letters Patent

Charter of King John, 1204, and subsequent royal charters of confirmation and of additional rights, including incorporation, 1524, change of name from Lynn Bishop to King's Lynn, 1537, and the annexation of South Lynn to the borough, 1555 and 1557.

Also includes two charters to the monks of Bury St Edmunds, 11th century (purporting to be of King Cnut, c.1021 but written in the 1080s), and 12th-century, but purporting to be of King Hardecnut, c.1040, believed to have been acquired by the Corporation with deeds to gild land which once belonged to Bury St Edmunds Abbey.

Quarter Sessions books

Records of proceedings at Quarter Sessions for the borough, held in the Guildhall, 1726-1858 and 1866-1957. The volume for 1858-1866 is missing from the series.

Sessions minutes

Quarter Sessions minute books, 1620-1680, 1729-1815 and 1826-1865, with files, 1689 and 1693. The books from 1729 onwards are drafts for the Sessions books. The references allocated to the documents in 1866-68 by Henry Harrod are given in square brackets. Minutes, 1685-1686 and 1815-1826, which became estranged from the borough archives, are available separately as KL/D3/2 and 3.

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