BURGHLEY, William Cecil, Lord (1520/21-1598). Lord Treasurer.
Document Signed, ('W. Burghley'), 1 page large folio on vellum, indented at the head, (ca 22 x 17½ inches (555 x 445 mm.), 8 December 35 Elizabeth I . An indenture signed by Cecil as Master of the Court of Wards and Liveries.
Contemporary docket to the reverse: 'Margaret Bayeley [of Honley in Yorkshire] / for and conserninge the demyse and graunte of / p[ar]cell of the landes and possessions of marye Bayelye the Queenes ma[jes]ties warde.' [In a less formal hand]: 'In the graunt s6: d8 [i.e. 6s.8d] appears to bee due for Brockholes'. Seal tags present.
The Court of Wards and Liveries had been established under Henry VIII to administer a system of feudal dues, but was principally concerned with controlling the effects, possessions, and to some extent behaviour of the king's wards - orphans under the age of 21 and idiots, for example. The activities of the court, for which Cecil had been responsible from 1561, were deeply unpopular, but it ceased to function after the abolition of feudal tenures by the Long Parliament in 1646. The court was formally abolished in 1660.
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