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Collection of British indentures

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 105

Scope and Contents

The Collection of British Indentures documents seventheeth and eighteenth 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 seventheeth and eighteenth 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 seventheeth and eighteenth centuries, a useful collection for anyone interested in paleography or British land law during this time.


  • 1607 - 1769

Access Information

This collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Materials in this collection are in the public domain. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.


0.25 Cubic Feet (Ten flat folders)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Source of acquisition unknown. Materials acquired by Purdue University Libraries between October 1941 and 1955.

Processing Information

All of the indentures have been individually placed in acid-free folders and housed in a flat case file.
Collection of British indentures
In Progress
Kristin Leaman
Description rules
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Third edition. Collection description was first completed 2013-04-04.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-29: Collection description updated by Adelle Rogers.
  • 2023-06-08: Acquisition information updated by Neal Harmeyer.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States