Treasure 50: Walter’s gift of land in 1115

The very last of our 50 Treasures (D77/1/23/58) is believed to be the very first, chronologically: the oldest document we hold. Dating from approximately 1100-1115, during the reign of Henry I, this deed records the gift of a virgate of land by Walter of Ridware to Robert Mellor. The land in question was in Seale, more familiar to us today as Overseal and Netherseal. The term “virgate” was not used with great precision – but it means about 30 acres.

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3 thoughts on “Treasure 50: Walter’s gift of land in 1115

    • Yup, you’re dead right there – the surname should read Mellor, not Messor. Thank you for the correction. This mistake is about 120 years old, as it originates in Isaac Herbert Jeayes’s descriptive catalogue of the Gresley charters, published in 1895. We were (over-)reliant on this text when collection D77 was re-catalogued a few years ago, particularly when it came to texts in Latin.

      • Pleasure to be able to help. I’ve been researching South Derbyshire families for over 20 years, and have come across plenty of Mellors, but never a Messor. It was 900 years ago, but still …
        Texts in Latin are particularly difficult to decipher, mainly because of the contractions, so even if you can learn how to decipher a particular hand, and have a rusty grasp of schoolboy Latin, you still get stymied by the huge variety of contractions and abbreviations.

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