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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/0974
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1378-1688
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.22 linear metres (5 bundles).
Name of creator(s): Manor of Harrow alias Sudbury
Manor of Harrow Rectory alias Harrow-on-the-Hill


Administrative/Biographical history:

Harrow Manor belonged to the archbishops of Canterbury from the early middle ages until 1545 when Henry VIII forced Cranmer to sell the manor to him. Henry sold the estate to Sir Edward North. The North family sold the manor to the Pitt family, whence it came to Alice Pitt and her husbands, Edward Palmer and then Sir James Rushout. The Rushouts acquired the barony of Northwick in 1797. Harrow stayed in the family until the death of the 3rd Baron, Sir George Rushout-Bowles, in 1887. His widow left the estate to her grandson Captain E G Spencer-Churchill. He sold the land in the 1920s.

Harrow Manor described both the manorial rights over the whole area and the chief demesne farm in the centre of the parish. This farm was known as Sudbury Manor or Sudbury Court. The ownership of Sudbury Manor followed that of Harrow, hence the name Harrow alias Sudbury.

From: 'Harrow, including Pinner : Manors', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4: Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood with Southall, Hillingdon with Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow with Pinner (1971), pp. 203-211 (available online).

The Manor of Harrow Rectory alias Harrow-on-the-Hill originated in land owned by priest Werhardt in the 9th century. From 1094-1845 Harrow Rectory was a peculiar of the archbishopric of Canterbury within the deanery of Croydon. The rector had sole manorial jurisdiction over Harrow-on-the-Hill and Roxborough, and collected tithes from a large area. This was a prized position which attracted ambitious and important men, and the rectory house was accordingly fine and spacious. In 1546 the rectory was impropriated to Christ Church, Oxford, but in 1547 the college alienated the rectory, the advowson of the vicarage, and (from 1550) the tithes to Sir Edward North, lord of Harrow alias Sudbury Manor. The grant was made in fee farm in perpetuity, North paying the College an annual fee. North sublet the rectory and tithes while retaining the manorial rights, and enjoyed the rights and profits of the rectory. In 1630 the rectory was conveyed to George Pitt and thereafter descended with Sudbury Court Manor until 1807, when the rectory house and 121 acres of land north of it were sold to James Edwards; the remaining land becoming part of Harrow Park.

From: 'Harrow, including Pinner : Harrow church', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4: Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood with Southall, Hillingdon with Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow with Pinner (1971), pp. 249-255 (available online).


Scope and content/abstract:

Manor of Harrow alias Sudbury and Manor of Harrow Rectory Court Rolls. Each membrane has been flattened and inserted between the leaves of five large leather bound albums or "tomes". There is evidence that this was done in the early nineteenth century. The membranes, however, still bear the numbers which correspond with an index prepared in the early seventeenth century, when the rolls were still in their traditional form of rolled files. The rolls for the two manors are usually separate, although there are several cases where Rectory membranes are filed on Harrow (alias Sudbury) rolls, especially in the earlier period.

Most of the Harrow Court Rolls remain in the form of files or bundles of parchment membranes of varying lengths, fastened together at the head and rolled. One roll usually covers one reign, although occasionally two or more rolls have been made as with the reign of Henry VI, (Ref. ACC/0076/2416, 2417). The indexer of the rolls (see above) has noted that "For the tyme of Henrie the VI Their arre 2 Rolles or Bundells The one comprehendings of leaves of parchment longe and short greate and small besides the cover, 75 leaves" and the other 63 leaves. He also notes that "their is 2 folied 40", 41, 66, 97, 106, 116 etc. The second roll is endorsed "H. 6; 17, 18, 19, 20 ..." etc. The court rolls have membranes numbered, possibly, by the seventeenth century indexer, usually beginning at number 1 for each sovereign's reign (not by roll). Those Rectory rolls now in ACC/0974 Tom I, however, are numbered 1-128 running through from 1378-1602 and not by reign, although endorsements show that they were originally filed in smaller rolls. Some of the membranes on the medieval rolls of Acc. 76 are defective or rubbed near the bottom so that the numbers have been lost. Most of the rolls have parchment wrappers and are labelled in a seventeenth century or later hand, although the last membranes of many earlier rolls bear endorsements in an early hand. Some of the roll covers are parts of deeds of the early 17th century. The rolls also have a reference number written on the covers, 1-12, 15 and 16 being Harrow and 22, 23, 26 being Rectory rolls.

Not all numbers can be verified as some rolls have lost their covers. Tom V (ref. ACC/0643) is similar to ACC/0974, except that the leather binding has been used as a portfolio and there is no evidence that it was ever made up as an album. It contains flattened membranes for the manor of Harrow (alias Sudbury) from the years Oct. 1648 (part) to Oct. 1675. It also contains 4 pieces of parchment, being halves of deeds of 1618 and 1621, two of which were wrappers and bear endorsements for rolls `No. 15' 1 James I to 1 Charles I and "No. 16' 5-12 Charles I now ACC/0974 Tom III. Rolls exist for Harrow Manor 1315-1337 when there are none for the Rectory, while there are rolls for Rectory 1349-1369 but none for Harrow. The reason for this is not known. There are possibly one or two courts which are not clearly identified as one manor or the other. Rectory rolls of this period are sometimes headed "Rectoria de Harrowe" but often only "Harrowe" and are distinguishable only by the name of the Rector which is sometimes given. Harrow rolls bear the heading "Harrows" or "Hargh" and in only one case is the name of the Archbishop, Lord of the Manor, given. The Edward II and Edward III period rolls which were indexed have all been identified and there are apparently none now missing which were present when the index was made soon after 1600.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

5 rolls in chronological order.

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:

Records deposited in August 1967.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Manor of Harrow alias Sudbury Court Rolls: ACC/0076, ACC/0401, ACC/0643, ACC/0974; Court Books: ACC/0076, ACC/0507.
Manor of Harrow Rectory Court Rolls: ACC/0076, ACC/0974; Court Books: ACC/0076, ACC/0507, ACC/0643.
Other Harrow Manorial Records: ACC/0076, ACC/0276, ACC/0310, ACC/0507, ACC/0643, ACC/0899.

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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