Knowsley Lease Book Overview

The lease book referred to here is held in the private library of the Earl of Derby at Knowsley Hall under reference C24 (formerly H45). It is a bound manuscript volume, comprising of around 60 vellum folios. It contains information on almost all of the leases agreed between the Lord of Man and his tenants between 1542 and 1630. Much of this (in particular the compositions of 1542-1609 and 1630) has not been publicly available before. The contents are described in detail in the Records section of this website.


There have been several mentions of this Lease Book in important Manx histories. It was loaned by Edward Geoffrey Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby to the Manx Society in 1861 and was expected then to be transcribed and published in a future publication (see Manx Soc Pub XXIV). For some reason this never occured however.


Additionally Dr. Roger Dickinson has researched the legal and financial context of the Lease Book and the publication of his findings is awaited with interest.




This transcription is published by permission of the Rt Hon. The Earl of Derby 2014.


PDF version


This subsection contains individual webpages containing all of the main parts of the lease book. Additionally a complete transcription in PDF format is given here.