"[Vellum Manuscript Indenture]",
Period: 1776 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
22.8 x 15.6 inches
57.9 x 39.6 cm
This vellum indenture serves as testament to a one-year lease of a "messauage, burgage or tenement," signed November 22, 1776. The lease is between John Fotherinham, master and mariner, and William Oliver, ship chandler, both of Sunderland-Near-the-Sea in Durham County. Oliver paid 5 shillings for the tenement in Sunderland known as "Hay Garth," which measures seven yards from north to south and nine yards from east to west. The tenement is bounded by lanes in the east and west, by a tenement in the north belonging to John Mason, and by another tenement in the south belonging to Caleb Wilson (and which previously belonged to Timothy Grove). The Tenement which Oliver has leased was previously owned by Mary Palmer, John Stafford and John Crawford.
The top of the indenture is cut in a jagged ("toothed") line, as was the common practice with indentures. The legal contract was duplicated on a single sheet, and then the copies were separated by a jagged edge, so that the two pieces could be fit together again to verify authenticity. The indenture includes tax stamps and a red wax seal.
A very readable indenture on fine vellum with light soiling and damp stains in the bottom corners.