The Earliest Known Written Rules of Cricket, 1727 (Goodwood Mss 1884)

Chosen by James Peill, Curator at Goodwood House This thin sheet of heavily-folded paper is probably the single most important document in the Goodwood archive. It is the earliest known written rules of cricket in existence. They were drawn up for matches between the 2nd Duke of Richmond’s XII (instead of the ususal XI) and Mr…

Album/Scrapbook History of George Hilton & Sons, 1872-1992 (Add Mss 54798)

 Chosen by Lauren Clifton, member of staff George Hilton & Sons was a business in Haywards Heath for over a century, starting as an upholstery, cabinet makers and house furnishers in 1882, the family company developed to include removals and warehousing, an undertakers, and became Hiltons Department Store 100 years later in 1982. From the…

Scrapbook, 1890s-1920s (Cobden Mss 1102)

      Chosen by Sarah Head, current member of staff As the daughter of the reforming and renowned Liberal MP Richard Cobden, it is not surprising that Jane Cobden was a woman of strong beliefs. However, it is perhaps surprising when you consider the era in which she grew up, a time when women…

Shippam’s filling room, c.1954 (Shippams 4/9/2)

Chosen by Ellen Butler (nee Reed), former Shippam's employee Shippam’s is perhaps West Sussex’s most famous business. Established in 1751 as provision merchants, by the 1850s the company was known internationally for its sausages and cured meats, all produced in-house. Advances in technology saw the company move into the preserved goods market at the end…

Vote of thanks to Lord Kitchener and others, 1898 (Acc 17902)

Chosen by Lady Kenya Tatton-Brown, depositor Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener was born on this day in 1850. In 1896 an expedition to the Sudan was announced to combat the Mahdist uprising and my great uncle, Lord Kitchener, was appointed leader. The Nation had been traumatised by the rise of the Mahdi…

Indictment for incitement to a duel (Quarter Sessions), 15 April 1828 (QR W/747 ff11-12)

Chosen by Nicky Rutherford, Volunteer Prior to the Courts Act 1971, which replaced them and the assizes with a single permanent Crown Court, the courts of Quarter Sessions were local courts held 4 times a year since the 14th century. West Sussex Record Office holds the records of the Sussex Quarter Sessions, c1350-1914, and the…

Duncton tithe map, 1837 (TD W41)

  Chosen by Ian Pennicott, member of staff Tithe maps represent the earliest attempt at the large scale mapping of the whole country. They were a product of the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 which allowed tithes to be paid to the Parish in cash rather than tithes i.e. pay with trade-able goods like wool,…

780 AD ‘Oslac’ Charter granting land south of Chichester (Cap/I/17)

 Chosen by Caroline Adams, former member of staff This charter grants land somewhere south of Chichester – we’re not sure of its precise location. The grant dates from 780 and is from Oslac, leader or King (styled ‘Dux’ in the charter) of the South Saxons at the time, to the church of St Paul the…

Happy 70th Birthday West Sussex Record Office

In 2016, West Sussex Record Office is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. In celebration, we have asked our users, depositors, volunteers, supporters and staff to explore the archive and nominate their favourite document. Over the coming months, 70 of these unique records will be featured on this blog, each with its own story to tell and…