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Collection of British indentures

 Collection — Box: 10 folders
Identifier: MSP 105

Scope and Contents

The Collection of British Indentures (1607-1769; 18 cubic feet) documents 17th and 18th century British land laws and the transfer or renting of land between individuals and/or family members.  All of the indentures are handwritten in English on vellum, which was standard for legal documents during this time.  The indentures were written during the reigns of eight monarchs and exemplify British land law during the 17th and 18th centuries.  Most of the indentures have either a blue Sixpenny Royal tax stamp or a Schilling Sixpence tax stamp that are sometimes punched with a tin alloy tab to prevent the reuse of the stamp.  Some of the indentures have red wax seals bearing the impression of the lawyers’ or parties’ signet rings to demonstrate its authenticity.  Postage stamps are present on some of the indentures, as well as addresses and signatures of the parties.  Copper plate engravings have been used for some of the indentures to create an Armorial heading at the beginning of the indenture; the engraved indentures in this collection all include the arms of the Royal Order of the Garter.  This collection also demonstrates the development of English court-hand during the 17th and 18th centuries, a useful collection for anyone interested in paleography or British land law during this time.


  • 1607-1769
  • Other: Date acquired: 09/01/2011

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.


18.00 Linear Feet

18.00 Linear Feet


The Collection of British Indentures documents 17th and 18th century British land laws and the transfer or renting of land between individuals and/or family members.  Almost all British legal land indentures (including the indentures in this collection) were handwritten on vellum and in English by the late Middle Ages.

Source of Acquisition

Dawson's Book Shop

Method of Acquisition

Probably purchased by Eleanore Cammack sometime during the 1940s-1950s.  Cammack was hired in 1929 as an order librarian at Purdue and became Head of the Ordering Department in 1955.

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

multi-part note content

Processing Information

All of the indentures have been individually placed in an acid-free folder and housed in a flat case file.
Collection of British indentures
In Progress
Kristin Leaman
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States