House ownership - Docwra Manor Hitchin Road

The table below gives details about who owned and occupied the house. The sources for information vary; the records pre 1800 are mainly manor court rolls. Every time a property changed hands, even between family members, the transaction had to be recorded at the manorial court. The names of those who surrendered and those who were admitted and the entry fines they paid were written in the rolls of parchment by the clerk. An entry fine was paid to the lord of the manor and the new owner was given a written copy of the transaction, hence the term copyhold.

All records were in abbreviated medieval latin until 1752 except for a short period during the commonwealth between 1650 and 1660.Freehold property is rarely mentioned but can sometimes be found in the manor rentals. It is difficult to trace the history of a house as addresses are never given ad therefore the only way is to use the owners name or very occasionally the name of the house.

Post 1800 there are many more sources of information although actual addresses are not used until mid 20th century. One method of identifying a house in the records is by the description of the land that went with it or the annual rent paid to the lord of the manor which often didn’t change over a hundred years.

The table is arranged over five columns. The first gives the year of the record and the second is the source document sometimes with a reference number. The next two columns record the transfer of ownership and the occupier of the property. Click on the names to link to the people database. Sometimes there is no link to the database so go to the people page on the top navigation bar and simply type in the name you are searching for. The search function returns all documents where the name searched for appears in that document. Click on a name match to view the document in which that name appears. When viewing a record that contains other names, it is possible to perform a new search on that name by clicking on the name link.

The last column shows information about the property and any comments.

Date Source Owner/buyer Occupier Comment
1811 owners Emilius Radcliffe Wm Abbiss  House And Garden
1818 enclosure Emilius Henry Delme Radcliffe   House And Garden
1851 census William  Males – Carpenter
1861 census William  Males – Carpenter
1863 rates Delme Redcliffe William Males Beershop
1871 census William  Males – Carpenter & Beerhouse Keeper
1877 sanitation Messrs Lucas William Males Old Hall With Yard & Garden. Well, Drainage-Into Main. 5 Inmates Sharing 3 Living Rooms, 3 Sleeping Rooms And Privy
1877 census #N/A
1881 census Lucy  Males – Beerhouse Keeper
1891 census Lucy  Males – Beerhouse Keeper
1901 census George  Males – Carpenter – Beerhouse Keeper
1910 rates W H Lucas Ltd George  Males Beer House & Garden
1911 census George  Males – Carpenter
1914 register of electors     George Males Old Hall house  
1915 register of electors     George Males Old Hall house  
1935 rates Rev William Winkworth   House And Premises
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