Court rolls of the Manor of Curles, Clavering

Clavering is a village and also a parish in north-west Essex in England. It is about 20 miles (32 km) from Cambridge and 50 miles (80 km) from Southend-on-Sea.

The leading manor was the Manor of Clavering, associated with the remains of an early castle. Curles was one of two smaller manors, its moated manor house lying about half a mile from the village centre. The ownership of these manors is slightly obscure, but they seem to have been held generally by the Barlee family of minor local gentry. The last of their line died at Curles in 1757. At the period of these rolls, however, the family seem to have been in some distress: they sold the reversion of one manor in 1568, and in 1563 a lease of Curles itself had been granted to a local yeoman by one Margaret Fulvelbye, a Cambridgeshire widow. The lease specifically excluded the profits of this manor court.

The records present themselves as eight rolls, each relating to a single sitting of the court. However, since each ‘roll’ is a single membrane and they bear old sewing holes at the top it is likely that they once formed a single document. It cannot be proved that there were not other intervening courts, although long intervals between sittings might not be unusual in a small manor.

For more information about these court rolls see or for written and printed heritage in general see Friends of the National Libraries website at

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