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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2844
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1422-1716
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.76 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Manor of Newington Barrow | Islington x Manor of Highbury | Islington


Administrative/Biographical history:

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:

Records of the Manor of Newington Barrow, Islington. The collection consists of 20 manor court rolls, 2 duplicate court rolls, and a manor survey. The court rolls document the proceedings of courts both baron and leet. Until 1560 these were held on separate occasions, courts baron more frequently than courts leet. The latter were held approximately once a year, on 3 May. From 1560 both courts were conducted on the same occasion. The proceedings of courts both leet and baron are recorded on the same roll, in date order, throughout. The rolls are predominantly of parchment.

Tenure of the manor from 1877 is untraceable, and the immediate provenance of the rolls is unknown. The presence of annotations on tags attached to certain entries indicates however that the rolls were retained and referred to long after they were created. Most of the rolls include lists of courts held, either on their wrappers or on membranes added to the existing rolls. The labelling of each roll with alphabetical letters also implies they were arranged at a later date so as to be accessible for frequent reference. Gaps in this alphabetical sequence, and in date order, suggest the collection is incomplete. Envelopes postmarked Nov. 1852 and addressed to M G Taylor, Solicitor, 40 Regents Square, London, are attached as markers to rolls dating from 1602, indicating that the collection was at one time in the custody of a solicitor.

Notes on the wrappers indicate that most of the rolls created before 1634 were examined in Chancery by James Symes and Robert Heyhoe, acting on the behalf of Thomas Austen, who was then the defendant in a suit brought by Dame Margaret Hungerford. The nature of the dispute is unknown, but Dame Margaret was the daughter of William Halliday, owner of the Mildmay Estate. This estate, which Margaret inherited in 1645, originated in a copyhold of the Manor of Newington Barrow, and it seems likely therefore that the dispute concerned land tenure.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged chronologically and by class, beginning with the court rolls.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Purchased in July 1990 with the aid of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, see

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also records of the Manor of Newington Barrow at ACC/2842, M/83/BAR and M/83/NB. The geographical extent of the manor is illustrated in a Plan of the Manor of Newington Barrow dated 1856 (3274 JI), and in a plan of Islington Parish dated 1828 (2408 JI), in the map and print section of the London Metropolitan Archives.

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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