21 July, 2024

Gifting the parchments

John Lund (right) handing over parchements.  Photo courtesy of NYCC.

John Lund (right) handing over parchements. Photo courtesy of NYCC.

Parchments dating back to the 18C that were in the possession of Broughton Parish Meeting have been gifted to the North Yorkshire County Council Record Office.

Two sets of parchments, one named Articles dated 1788,  the other named Awards dated 4.09.1789, were handed over to Mr Keith Sweetmore, Archive Development Manager.

He was thrilled to receive the parchments which he said were in very good condition and highly valuable as a historical record.

The decision to make the parchments a gift rather than a loan was made by John Lund, chairman of Broughton Parish Meeting.  Handing over the parchments, he said it was the best place for them and offered to personally fund an interpretation of the parchments which are made out of sheep skin.

 Land Division

Mr Sweetmore explained the parchments were a record of a Local Agreement of land being divided up for personal possession at the time of the Enclosure Acts.

He said Broughton would once have had a large field in which the township inhabitants would have had common rights. All those with an interest in this common land were then awarded a portion of it – a system biased towards those with a larger interest as it often excluded those with very small interests, such as the owner of only a couple of cows.

Much of the land was carved up by an Act of Parliament but there were many instances, such as in Broughton, were it was done by a Local Agreement. This was achieved by Articles which legally set out how the division would take place and appointed Commissioners to oversee the apportionments. The creation of ownership was recorded in the Awards.

Mr Sweetmore was also interested in the envelope in which the parchments were kept for many years. The addressee on the envelope was the late Mr C T Lund, father of John Lund, who was able to identify hand writing on the envelope as being his father’s. Mr Charles Lund was the secretary and treasurer of Broughton Parish Meeting for a number of years after it was formed in 1968.

Keith Sweetmore (left) chats to John Lund.

Keith Sweetmore (left) chats to John Lund.

Pictured are from the left Mr Sweetmore and John chatting as they wait to be photographed by the County Council photographer.


From the left, Keith Sweetmore explains to Gill Woodhead and John Lund the meaning of the parchments.


Pictured from the left are Keith Sweetmore as he explains the meaning of the parchments to web editor Gill Woodhead and John Lund, chairman of the Parish Meeting.

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