CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Essex Life today CLICK HERE

Treasures of the Essex Record Office

PUBLISHED: 09:21 06 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:44 06 January 2016

Archant

The Essex Record Office archives documents from the county’s history stretching back more than 1,000 years. Here Hannah Salisbury shares just some of the highlights to be found within the archive

The Essex Record Office (ERO) is the storehouse of Essex history. Its collections cover more than 1,000 years and take up nearly eight miles of shelving. The ‘treasures’ we share here are just a few of the most interesting, rare and beautiful items in our care. The ERO was founded in 1938 and has been caring for Essex’s history ever since. The things we look after include documents, maps, images and sound and video recordings. These unique records tell us about people from all walks of life who have lived in Essex over the last nine centuries – what sort of possessions they had, how they made a living, how they got on with their neighbours and so much more. The collections can be searched using an online catalogue, Seax. Some items have been digitised and can be viewed online, and most can be ordered to view in the public Searchroom in Chelmsford. We also offer behind-the-scenes tours for groups and run a busy events programme throughout the year. The ERO is open to the public and welcomes visitors who want to research their family, house or local history, or anything else for which we have material. We can also help you look after any historic documents or photographs you might be responsible for, with advice and services available regarding conservation and digitisation. w

Music book, 1570-1630

This 16th-century music book is believed to have belonged to John Petre of Ingatestone Hall, as it has his name embossed in gold on the cover. The book mostly includes music by English composers such as Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, who lived in nearby Stondon Massey. The book would have been one of a set of five, each containing a different singing part (this book contains the bass line). You can listen to one of the pieces being sung by Southend-based early music choir Gaudeamus on the ERO’s SoundCloud page.

Music book, 1570 - 1630Music book, 1570 - 1630

Armorial pedigree of the Cornwallis family, 1560

This pedigree traces the descent of the Cornwallis family through several generations. The entire document measures 96 x 30 inches and includes 62 painted coats of arms. It was compiled for Thomas Cornwallis and his wife Anne Jerningham, and includes miniature portraits of the couple. It shows their ancestors back to the 1300s, and was added to after their marriage to show subsequent generations.

Armorial pedigree of the Cornwallis family, 1560Armorial pedigree of the Cornwallis family, 1560

Dedham charter, 1575

This illuminated grant confirms the details of the will of William Littlebury of Dedham in setting up a grammar school to provide for the education of the local boys of Dedham, Ardleigh, Great Bromley and Bradfield, and of Stratford (Suffolk). The grant begins with a portrait of a young Elizabeth I, and is decorated with the Tudor Rose.

Dedham charter, 1575Dedham charter, 1575

Elizabeth Slany’s book, 1715-1800

This cookery book was compiled by Elizabeth Slany, possibly in preparation for her forthcoming marriage. As well as recipes for a large number of sweet and savoury dishes, the book also includes instructions for making medicines, salves and ointments.

Elizabeth Slany's book of life skills, 1715 - 1800Elizabeth Slany's book of life skills, 1715 - 1800

Charter of King Edgar, South Brent, Devon, 962

At over 1,000 years old, this charter is the oldest item we care for. It is a grant of land by an Anglo-Saxon king to one of his ministers. The first part, written in Latin, describes the terms of the grant of land and threatens dire consequences to anyone who tries to take the land from the recipient. The second part of the document is in Anglo-Saxon and details the borders of the land in question; in a time before maps, written descriptions were the order of the day. The third part of the document names the witnesses, beginning with ‘Eadgar, Rex Anglorum’, or Edgar, King of the Angles.

Charter of King Edgar, 962Charter of King Edgar, 962

For more details about the archives at the Essex Record Office or the events taking place there this year, visit www.essexrecordoffice.co.uk.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Essex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Essex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Essex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Essex is home to some of the most stunning vistas in the UK. From the estuary of River Thames to the North Sea coastline, the county’s scenery is a diverse patchwork of stunning sea views, ancient architecture and vibrant gardens. We pick 9 of our favourites

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

When winter comes and a frost settles all over our county’s prettiest locations, you’re presented with so many fantastic photographic opportunities. Here are 19 times Essex was prettier than a Christmas card

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Are you stuck for things to do this winter? Essex is home to some truly magical places perfect for a family day out or a special event to get you feeling festive. Here are 9 locations you have to visit this season.

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Christmas in Essex has something for everyone with an irresistible combination of modern and traditional. Here are 21 reasons why Essex is the best place to spend your Christmas

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The history and heritage of our county’s historic homes is not only contained within their walls but it also stretches out into the land surrounding it. We’ve found 11 great walks that allow you to experience that history first hand

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Of all Britain’s coastal counties, Essex can surely claim to be one of the best. With more than 350 miles of shoreline to choose from, the Essex coast is very much what you make of it, so even on those days when you’re planning a little run out to the seaside and want more than just the beach, Essex has the answer

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

We’ve put together 15 questions that will push your knowledge of Essex to the limit - let us know how you’ve done on social media!

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From James Bond to Batman, Essex has been known to bask in a little Hollywood glitz. Here are 19 that have used our county’s incredible locations on the big screen

Read more
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

From woodlands and nature reserves to Dedham Vale, we pick 9 perfect places for countryside walks plus some of the best cosy pubs along the way

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Spend Halloween hunting down ghouls and ghosts in the county’s most haunted places and spaces. We pick 10 absolutely terrifying locations to visit this October.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search