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Early Modern English Manuscripts

Deed and Obligation

A Conveyance and its Corresponding Bond

These two parchments document the conveyance of a property known as “The Bell,” a messuage in Bedfordshire (a messuage is a house, its outbuildings, and adjacent land). In the first document, Thomas Hoddle agrees to pay three score pounds (£60) for the property.  In the second, he binds himself to the preceding contract and pays the Purnye family £5. These small documents are referred to as “bonds” or “obligations” (obligatio) and frequently appear in both Latin and English, perhaps to reinforce the solemnity of the commitment, even though the deed itself was usually in English. There are several examples of a conveyance and its corresponding bond in this collection.

Edward Purnye of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, blacksmith, John Purnye of Bockinge, Essex, clothier, and Thomas Purnye of Bockinge, Essex, clothier, to Thomas Hoddle of Ellestowe. Poll Deed. Ellestowe, Bedfordshire: 30 March 1611. English. Brown ink on parchment. 277 X 403 mm. Three seals.

A deed from 1611 entitled Poll Deed

Edward Purnye of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, blacksmith, John Purnye of Bockinge, Essex, clothier, Thomas Purnye of Bockinge, Essex, clothier, to Thomas Hoddle of Ellestowe. Obligation. Ellestowe, Bedfordshire: 30 March 1611. Latin and English. Dark brown ink on parchment. 128 X 286 mm. Two seals, damaged.

A deed from 1611 entitled Obligation