Record Series - 152     

Swaledale Wills and Inventories 1522-1600

edited by Elizabeth K. Berry (1998)

Swaledale Wills and Inventories 1522-1600 Record Series 152Little is known about individual inhabitants of Swaledale in the 16th century as most of the surviving parish registers do not begin until the 1600s.

This volume brings together transcripts of 210 wills and inventories from among the records of the Archdeaconry of Ripon. These documents give the names of early members of local families, such as Alderson and Broderick and many others, who have played an important part in the history of the dale down the centuries (an index of names is included). In addition these records give information on many aspects of the life of the dale at this time; houses and their contents at all social levels, clothes, food, farming, leadmining and the woollen industry and other trades.

Most of the testators were copyholders of the various manors in the dale and these wills also provide information on property holding, the status and rights of women, provision for the upbringing of children, charitable bequests and the settlement of disputes. All this against a background of great religious and social change, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Pilgrimage of Grace and the Rebellion of the Northern Earls, all of which affected Swaledale. All these themes are discussed in the volumes introduction.

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