08:00 Thursday 21 February 2013

527-year-old document to go under the hammer

Written byADRIAN JENKINS

AN historic Derbyshire document originating from 1485 – the year King Richard III died in battle – is to be auctioned.

The 527-year-old piece of paper secured Repton villager Eleanor Vernon her fortune upon her father’s death.

It includes all of Robert Bradshaw’s assets that he accrued while living in Idridgehay – including land.

The slip will be sold next month by Etwall-based Hansons for a Burton client.

Valuer Elizabeth Bailey, from Hansons, said it was difficult to estimate how much it would fetch as the document was so rare.

She said: “It is remarkable to think that this slip of paper dictated the fate of a Derbyshire lady 527 years ago.

“Even to handle this sort of history, so close to home, is a truly uncanny experience.

“Clients should not miss the chance to own a significant piece of 15th century documentation.”

The year 1485 was tumultuous for Britain. The Battle of Bosworth and the consequent death of Richard III, the last king to die in battle, was a formative event in England.

Catherine of Aragon was also born and there was the first outbreak of ‘sweating sickness – a 66-year pandemic to strike England.

‘Darbyshire’ in 1485 was strikingly different to the county it is today.

Inhabitants of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire were called ‘North Mercians’ and the two counties long continued to be connected in civil polity, as they had one sheriff between them until 1569.

Many recognisable landmarks had been constructed by 1485, including All Saints Church, which became Derby Cathedral in 1927.

Mrs Bailey said: “Within this hotbed of almost simultaneous religious and commercial innovation, Reppyngton – or Repton as it is now known – was a highly important district.

“It is understandable, then, for the need of local lady Mrs Eleanor Vernon to secure her inheritance in a time of such commercial and social turbulence.”

The document reads: “John Vernon of Repyngton and his wife Eleanor, daughter and one of the heirs of Roger Bradshawe of Idursey to Robert Mellour of Iridgehay.

“All of Eleanor Vernon’s shares of all the lands and tenements, meadows, feeding and pastures in Idridgehay which descended to her on the death of her said father Robert Bradshaw of Idridgehay.

“Witnesses: Thomas Scorer of Iridgehay, Thurstan Westley of Iridgegay, John Alton of Iridgehay, Hugh Rooper of Turnedyche, Nicholas Bradshawe of Wyndeley; at Iridgehay.”

The slip will be sold during March 14 to 16, with viewing on March 13.

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