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One of our earliest treasures

This week we’ve been getting out a number of very early deeds to help a reader with some research. This beautiful example dates from between 1189 and 1194 and is believed to be one of the earliest charters in the Library collection.

The charter is from John, Count of Mortain, who succeeded King Richard I in 1199, and establishes the ownership of lands around Furness Abbey (then in Lancashire. Measuring around 20 x 25 cm, it is in remarkable condition for a document which is now well over eight hundred years old.