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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/1016
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1789-1938
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2.05 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Couchman | John William | fl 1840-1900 | surveyor and civil engineer


Administrative/Biographical history:

John William Couchman acted as surveyor and agent to the lords of the manors of Tottenham and Edmonton. He was a civil engineer (in particular of waterworks). Harold Seymour Couchman was his successor.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of John William Couchman and Harold Seymour Couchman, surveyors, agents to the lords of the manors of Tottenham and Edmonton and civil engineers, 1789-1938. The majority of the papers are those of John William Couchman who was a civil engineer (in particular, apparently, a waterworks expert) and a surveyor and valuer, but a few later ones relate to his successor, Harold Seymour Couchman.

John William Couchman acted as surveyor and agent to the lords of the manors of Tottenham and Edmonton. Most of the manorial documents are valuations for enfranchisement of copyhold property. These cover the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and are arranged alphabetically under the names of the copyholders. There is also, however, a survey of Tottenham manor of circa 1830 and two rentals of quit and waste rents for Tottenham and one for Edmonton, together with correspondence with the local urban district councils over their purchase of manorial waste.

The remainder of the collection consists of documents concerning property of the Sperling family and of others for whom Couchman acted as agent; his own papers relating to various engineering projects - notably that to provide a drinking water supply for Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, papers concerning the Tithe rent charges for Tottenham (for which he acted as valuer), various sales particulars including one of 1789 for Bruce Castle and Mount Pleasant, and two albums of photographs taken at the end of the last century which are of considerable interest.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections: Manor of Edmonton (ACC/1016/1-232); Manor of Tottenham (ACC/1016/233-619); Papers of J.W. Couchman (ACC/1016/620-756). A third deposit has not yet been catalogued; please contact LMA staff regarding the interim list.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 1968 (ACC/1016)

Allied Materials

Related material:

ACC/695 Court books of the manors of Tottenham and Edmonton.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July to October 2009

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