Commissary's Court archives, 1562 - 1855
Scope and Contents
The archives comprise act and deposition books, exhibita files and bonds. They include records of courts at Sturbridge and Barnwell Fairs.
- 1562 - 1855
Conditions Governing Access
The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
Biographical / Historical
First recorded in 1293, the Commissary was a judicial officer appointed by the Chancellor to act as his deputy. In the early modern period he presided over a court, sitting at least weekly, with jurisdiction over members of the University below the degree of MA and also conducting much of the business which might otherwise have swamped the Vice-Chancellor’s Court. Causes included personal actions for breach of contract or covenant, injury, debt, falsification, trespass, and prosecution by the Proctors. His duties extended to holding courts at the annual Sturbridge and Barnwell Fairs.
10 linear metre(s) : paper and parchment
Language of Materials
Charles Henry Cooper, Annals of Cambridge volume II (Cambridge, 1843), pp. 608-10
Jacqueline Cox, ‘Trials and tribulations: the Cambridge University Courts, 1540-1660', Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society Vol. XV, No. 4 (2015), pp. 595-623
Alexandra Shepard, Meanings of manhood in early modern England, with special reference to Cambridge, c. 1560-1640 (Cambridge, 1998), Cambridge University Library, PhD.22076
Ibid., Meanings of manhood in early modern England (Oxford, 2003)
Ibid., ‘Litigation and locality: the Cambridge university courts, 1560-1640', Urban History 31.1 (May 2004), pp. 5-28
Ibid., 'Legal learning and the Cambridge University courts, c. 1560-1640', Journal of Legal History 19.1 (1998), pp. 62-74.