- Lease Book Overview
- Composition Book Overview
- Leases before 1643
- Leases 1643-1704
- Stray Compositions
- Knowsley Hall
- Derby Papers
- Atholl Papers
- Castle Rushen Papers
- Ellesmere Papers
- Bridge House Papers
- Pennant Papers
The composition records relate to fines payable to the Lord due only to the possession or tenancy of his lands. These fines fall into two categories, payments made at the commencement of a lease and gratuities which were a special payment equivalent to an annual rent made to a new Lord. The records of both sets of payments are (largely) contained within five bound composition books which contain a variety of documents from mostly between 1593 and 1705. Unfortunately these records cover several different purposes, are of inconsistent formats and can initially be rather confusing to interpret. Books 2,3 and 4 contain loose handwritten indexes of unknown provenance which typically indicate where entries for each parish appear within a book. Beyond that they contain limited information however. The summary below attempts to classify the different documents. The contents of these are described in more detail within the appropriate subsection.
Organisation of the Records
The five composition books are conserved manuscripts which are all held under reference 10057 (Manorial Records) at the Manx National Heritage Library. They are contained within four boxes. My index of the five books is given below. (The first book does not have numbered pages and the folio numbers are based on my page count.) A more detailed description of these individual records (ordered by date) is given under elsewhere on this site. (See the other pages under this subheading). Certain related records exist in other document collections and these are also described there. (In particular there are later summaries of the 1643 and 1666 compositions and several later copies of the 1703-5 composition book. These are easier to read and navigate and also serve to help plug some gaps in the records.)
Several of the major records referred to below were updated over several years. The indexes given below refer to documents dated 1643, 1691 and 1704, but strictly speaking these span the approximate periods 1643-1645, 1691-1692 and 1703-1705 respectively.
Book 1 titled Compositions book (in Box 1)
folio 1.0 - 25.5 customs in kind in 1593 folio 26.0 - 37.0 customs in money in 1593 (north side) with allowances folio 41.0 - 54.0 customs in money in 1593 (south side) with allowances folio 55.0 - 64.5 new enclosures 1609 folio 65.0 - 83.0 new enclosures 1610-1622 folio 83.0 - 99.0 new enclosures 1623 folio 99.0 -105.0 presentments of tenants who had not compounded for leases c1644 folio 106.0 -133.0 South Side Liber Assed (undated) folio 134.0 -163.0 South Side Liber Assed (undated) folio 163.0 -221.0 South Side Liber Assed (undated)
Book 2 titled Compositions for abbey lands and intacks (in Box 1)
folio 1.0 - 1.5 compositions for several intacks 1673 folio 2.0 - 21.5 surviving lives in 1666 folio 22.0 - 37.0 receipts of 1704 fines on abbey lands folio 39.0 - 77.0 1704 compositions (Lonan and Maughold) folio 78.0 - 87.0 late (1735) compositions for new intacks folio 88.0 -146.0 1704 compositions (Lezayre, Santon, and Marown) folio 147.0 -187.5 receipts/debts of 1643 fines folio 188.0 -227.5 1704 fines and compositions for abbey lands
Book 3 titled 1612 &tc vol2 (in Box 2)
folio 2.0 - 13.0 new leases granted in 1610 folio 15.0 - 17.0 potential fines for re-establishing leases not compounded in 1610 folio 18.0 19 year leases for clerkships granted in 1610 folio 19.0 summary of benevolences received in 1610 folio 20.0 summary of all income above folio 21.0 - 64.5 1704 fines and receipts (north side) folio 68.0 -145.0 1643 composition book (south side) folio 147.0 -284.5 Appears to be predominately a summary of existing leases c1655 folio 285.0 -368.5 1666 compositions folio 369.0 -423.5 1691 lives
Book 4 titled 1613-1691 (in Box 3)
folio 1.0 - 6.5 1506 Liber Assed (or similar) for Castletown Cottages (in latin) folio 7.0 - 10.5 As above for Malew folio 11.0 - 13.0 As above for Arbory folio 15.0 - 16.0 leases in existence prior to 1610 and expired by 1613 (thus due) folio 17.0 - 18.0 leases in existence prior to 1610 and still not expired in 1613 folio 19.0 - 22.5 tenants who had had leases on only part of their land prior to 1613 folio 23.0 - 29.0 fines compounded with the officers 1613,1614 folio 29.0 - 36.5 other fines for compositions since the 1613 commission folio 37.0 - 47.0 1654-5 leases for rectories, tythes and clerkships (neat record) folio 48.0 - 54.0 1654-5 leases for rectories, tythes and clerkships (rough entries) folio 54.0 - 59.0 1655 survey/reconfirmation of existing leases for land folio 60.0 -105.5 1643 composition book (north side) folio 106.0 -146.5 1704 fines and receipts (south side) folio 147.0 -156.5 1660 compositions (various parishes) folio 157.0 -211.5 1660 gratuities (about 10 parishes) folio 212.0 -308.5 1679 lives
Book 5 titled composition book c1703 (in Box 4)
folio 1.0 -324.5 1704 Compositions folio 325.0 -330.5 1628 licences for exports (?) folio 331.0 -338.0 1628 sureties for exports (?) folio 339.0 -342.5 1626 licences folio 344.0 -347.0 1626 sureties folio 348.0 -385.0 1704 Compositions
1643-1704 Composition records organised by parish
The composition books can be muddled and somewhat confusing to read. The tables below provide an index to those sections relevant to compositions which were agreed between 1643 and 1704. It is organised by parish. A reference C2/345.0 means that the section begins at folio 345 of Composition Book 2.
Entries below suffixed by (C) relate to lists of new compositions. The other sections are predominately surveys of existing compositions. There were separate composition books in 1704 for Lord's and Abbey land. These are indicated by 1704(L) and 1704(A) respectively below. Note also that several parishes contain two entries for the 1704 composition book. In these instances, one is simply a neat true copy of the other (the original). The table below only includes the reference for the original document.
During the English Civil War, the Stanley Lords of Man were temporarily supplanted. The composition books also contain surveys taken by this separate administration. These records are less well grouped by parish.
|Parish||Surveys during the 1650s|
|Andreas||: C3/228.0-228.5 : C3/272.0-284.5|
|Arbory||: C3/156.0-156.5 : C3/237.0-237.5|
|Ballaugh||: C3/186.0-189.5 : C3/216.0-216.5 : C3/229.0-229.0 : C3/256.0-263.0 : C4/054.0-058A.0|
|Braddan||: C3/199.0-202.5 : C3/218.0-223.5 : C3/231.0-231.5 : C3/238.0-238.5|
|Bride||: C3/158.5-160.5 : C3/267.0-271.0|
|German||: C3/161.0-163.0 : C3/174.0-177.0 : C3/232.0-236.0|
|Jurby||: C3/173.0-173.5 : C3/206.0-206.0 : C3/209.5-212.0|
|Lezayre||: C3/196.0-198.5 : C3/225.0-227.5|
|Lonan||: C3/147.0-148A.0 : C3/168.0-170.0 : C3/217.0-217.5|
|Malew||: C3/149.5-151.5 : C3/192.5-195.5 : C3/241.5-247.5|
|Marown||: C3/171.0-171.0 : C3/213.0-214.0|
|Maughold||: C3/185.0-185.0 : C3/205.0-205.0 : C3/264.0-266.5|
|Patrick||: C3/164.0-167.0 : C3/230.0-230.5 : C3/239.5-240.5|
|Rushen||: C3/203.0-204.0 : C3/207.0-208.5 : C3/215.0-215.0|
Composition records on microfilm
The above composition books were microfilmed many years ago. Michael Bridson has a provided a set of correspondences which forms the basis for the table below. The years field gives the description associated with the microfilm (but which does not necessarily precisely cover the records it contains). The Manx National Heritage Library microfilm equivalences have not yet been fully checked. Please let me know of any errors.
The manuscript of the 1760 copy of the 1704 composition book referred to in the table below is held within the Atholl Papers bundle 65 at the Manx National Heritage Library. A few pages are missing from the original 1704 document and this 1760 copy provides a useful substitute. It is also somewhat easier to read.
|Ref above||Years||Folios||MNHL Film||LDS Film|
|Book 1||1594-1623 & undated||Not numbered||GL838(1)|
|Book 3||1610-1692||1-424||GL838(2) & GL839(1)||0106703(1)|
|Book 4||1506-1679||1-309||GL839(3) & GL840(1)||0106701|
|Book 5||1704-1713||1-386||GL840(2) & GL841||0106702|
|N/A||1704 (1760 copy)||RC1 & RC2|
Images of several of the Composition Books are now available online at Familysearch.org and Christopher Keig has produced an excel spreadsheet to serve as a finding aid for these. This is available at Composition Book Aid and it links directly to the online records.