Wakefield Court Rolls Series
The Wakefield court rolls are one of the treasures of our archive collections and have been inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
The manor of Wakefield was of exceptional size, covering 150 square miles in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It included lowland arable land in and around Wakefield itself, and less prosperous upland areas in the Holme and Calder valleys. The manorial records in YAHS's archives collection cover land transactions and court proceedings from the late thirteenth century to the 1920s. They are truly exceptional
This map, made by John Speed and published c.1620, shows the area covered by the Manor and its surroundings.
A number of court rolls were transcribed and published in the Society's Record Series around the beginning of the 20th century. These are now available as Cambridge University Press reprints.
In 1974 the Society launched a new Wakefield Court Rolls series. The rolls are translated from Latin to English, and their contents summarised in calendar form rather than a word-for-word transcription. With an explanatory introduction and an index of persons, places and other topics, they are thus a valuable source for all researchers, including local and family historians. The WCR series general editor, Dr Brian Barber, provides background on the Wakefield court rolls, the archive and publications, in a downloadable document. .Early volumes have also been digitised by the Internet Archive and are available online.
Publication of this special series ceased with the issue of Volume 21 in 2021. In future, any further Court Rolls edited for publication will appear in the Record Series. If you are interested in editing a Court Roll for publication please contact the General Editor
Back issues still available in print