This Treasure has been nominated by Miriam Wood, who worked at Derbyshire Record Office as an archivist for many years. In her time here, she catalogued a vast array of records, drawing on her skills as a patient palaeographer and reader of Latin. Many of the current staff enjoyed regular “palaeography club” lunchtime sessions led by Miriam in 2012, when we were working out of temporary premises in County Hall as extension and refurbishment works were being carried out.
Here is Miriam’s own explanation of the document (D779/T/131):
This is a settlement of disputes between Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, who had lands at Castle Donington in Leicestershire, and Thomas the Abbot and the convent of the Abbey of St Werburgh’s in Chester with lands in the manor of Weston and the hamlets of Shardlow and Wilne in Derbyshire. They agree that the Abbot and convent may have one third of the profit from the barge and boat of the Earl crossing the Trent between Leicestershire and Derbyshire at the Bargeford and shall provide one third of the materials and expenses in building new, and repairing, boats and barges.
It specifically refers to landing near Wilne and the provision of a way from the landing at Wilne to the highway to Derby. Although the term “ferry” is not used here, this may well be the ferry belonging to the manor of Weston, mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) and is undoubtedly the forerunner of what was later known as Wilden Ferry. This was an integral part of the road from Loughborough and the south to Derby and beyond and remained in use until Cavendish Bridge was opened nearby in 1761.