Deeds and Family Papers


Chetham’s Library houses a considerable number of title deeds. The majority of the deeds held by the Library are concerned with Lancashire and Cheshire, and provide a fundamental source for the history of land and local land ownership. The main collections of deeds are included here.

Unlike record offices and some academic and public libraries, the Library has not acquired large collections of family papers. However, Chetham’s does have a number of individual works, including diaries and account books, which are concerned with local families.

The Leech family archive is one of Chetham’s Library’s most remarkable collections. Over the last few years, members of the family have presented the Library with a large and diverse collection of personal and business memorabilia. The archive is a uniquely personal collection, dominated by an astonishing series of journals and diaries. It begins with a short journal written in 1815-16 and ends with diaries covering the second half of the twentieth century. There are almost 200 volumes in the collection compiled by over a dozen members of the family.


Raines Collection. Over 300 deeds and other documents relating chiefly to Lancashire and Yorkshire c.1250-1792. (E.4.6-12, E.5.1-2)
Bailey Collection. 300 deeds relating chiefly to Lancashire c.1287-1821. (C.7.9-43)
Agecroft Collection. Deeds relating to the Agecroft estate, Salford, and its owners, the Langley and Dauntsey families, 1402-1894. (F.3.1-11)
Mainprice Collection. Deeds relating chiefly to Lancashire and Cheshire. Includes material on Dukinfield and Salford. (F.1)
Booth Charities. Deeds and other documents concerned with the Salford charities C17th-C20th. (Deposited archive)
Hulme Trust. Deeds and other documents concerned with the Manchester based charity C13th- C20th. (Deposited archive). (E.3.8-10)
Chetham Deeds. Deeds concerning the property of Humphrey Chetham, and of the Hospital and Library, in Sutton on the Hill, Derbyshire, Hammerton, Yorkshire and Rochdale C16th-C19th. (E.1.6-E.2.5)

Family Papers

Papers of the Chesshyre family of Halton, Cheshire (C18th). (E.1.4-5)
Letter books of the Assheton family of Middleton and Whalley (Cl7th). (A.3.90-1)
Pedigree of the Frere family to 1803. (A.4.31)
Papers relating to the Armitage family. (A.0.9)
Survey of lands held in Altrincham and Bowdon by Sir William Meredith (1726). (A.7.21)
History of Bramhall Hall and the Davenport family (E.8.24)
Leech family diaries (1830-) Some of the Leech diaries have been transcribed as part of a Manchester Metropolitan University History Department student project. Transcriptions of the diaries and related illustrations may be seen at the Leech Family Diaries website constructed by the students.
Edward Watkin Collection of family papers, photos and memorabilia Diaries of Dora Turnor of Stoke Rochford Hall in Lincolnshire (C19th)