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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 M/83/BAR
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1621-1925
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.82 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Manor of Barnsbury | Islington


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Manor of Barnsbury (also called Bernersbury or Iseldon Berners) was held in 1086 by Hugh de Berners. The Berners family retained the manor until 1502 when it was sold. In 1542 the manor was purchased by Thomas Fowler, merchant, and passed to his son Edmund (d 1560) who left it to his son Sir Thomas (d 1625). The manor was left to his son Sir Thomas (d 1656) who left it to his daughter Sarah, widow of Sir Thomas Fisher. Her eldest son Sir Thomas Fisher inherited but died in 1671, leaving the estate to his brother Sir Richard Fisher (d 1707). Richard left the manor to his nephew Sir Thomas Halton (d 1726), whose son Sir William Halton (d 1754) left the land to his godson William Tufnell (who later changed his surname to Jolliffe). The manor remained in the Tufnell family until 1925. The manor house was situated to the west of what is now Barnsbury Square, near to the modern Caledonian Road and Barnsbury railway station.

The Manor of Canonbury was formed from land granted to the prior of Saint Bartholomew Smithfield by Ralph de Berners in 1253. It was also known as the Manor of Iseldon. The manor was taken at the Dissolution and was owned by Thomas Cromwell, 1529-1540, then was owned by Dudley, Lord Lisle, 1547 onwards. It passed to the Earl of Northampton in 1610 and remained in that family until sold to developers in 1954.

The Manor of Newington Barrow or Highbury was owned by the priory of Saint John of Jerusalem, Clerkenwell, from 1270 to the Dissolution. From 1548 to 1629 it was owned by various members of the royal family, then sold to Sir Allen Apsley and thence to various owners. In 1773 the owner George Colebrooke was bankrupted and sold the demense lands and the site of the manor house. The manorial rights and quitrents were sold separately, but cannot be traced after 1877. The manor house at Highbury was a substantial stone building used as a summer residence by the priors of Saint John of Jerusalem. It was destroyed in 1381 by followers of Jack Straw, who hated the then prior. It was subsequently known colloquially as 'Jack Straw's Castle'. The later house was known as Highbury Barn and was a well-known tea gardens in the eighteenth century.

From 'Islington: Manors', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8: Islington and Stoke Newington parishes (1985), pp. 51-57 (available online).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to Barnsbury Manor, Islington, including records of the courts baron and courts leet; deeds to the copyhold estate of the manor; surrenders; warrants; deeds of conveyance of land and premises at Holloway; deeds for Tufnell family holdings in Holloway, Manor of Canonbury, and in the Manor of Newington Barrow at Highbury; and deeds for the Tufnell family estates in Ireland.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

M/83/BAR/001-042: Manorial courts;
M/83/BAR/043-066: Deeds to Barnsbury Manor;
M/83/BAR/067-118: Surrenders and warrants;
M/83/BAR/119-122: Deeds (Holloway);
M/83/BAR/123-170: Records relating to the Tufnell family estates.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in January 1947.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also M/83/NB for records of Newington Barrow Manor.

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:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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