Documents relating to estates seized following Jacobite rising of 1715 published online

29 June 2020
Battle of Sheriffmuir, 13 November 1715
A collection of deeds and other documents held at The National Archives in Kew relating to Catholic estates that were seized as a result of the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 have been published online for the first time, by FindMyPast.

The release is part of the online publication of new English & Welsh Catholic records containing just under 500,000 names.

Published online for the first time, today’s release consists of four separate collections including Sacramental registers from the Archdioceses of Southwark and “England & Wales, Roman Catholics, 1717”, a collection of deeds and other documents held at The National Archives in Kew relating to Catholic estates that were seized as a result of the Jacobite rising of 1715.

Forfeited estates

Published online for the first time in collaboration with The National Archives, England & Wales, Roman Catholics, 1717, was created by digitising 211 pieces from their FEC 1 series covering the “Forfeited Estates Commission, abstracts of estates of Popish recusants”.

The Commission, appointed in 1715 by an Act of Parliament, had the power to seize all “real estates and interests vested in the crown” belonging to “persons so convicted or attainted of high treason”.

This expansive archive covers a range of assorted documents such as abstracts of estates that incorporate alphabetical lists of convicted recusants registered in various counties and towns across England and Wales. Also Included is a large collection of deeds and other documents produced before the Commissioners relating to seized estates.

Some documents date back at least to the 16th century and are typically arranged under the names of the attainted persons. They include original claims of various persons upon estates forfeited to the Crown; proceedings of the commissioners including correspondence, minutes and memoranda, accounts, lists and schedules, and inventories of documents; county returns by clerks of the peace listing the names and estates of papist recusants in England and Wales; rentals and particulars of estates sold; and information respecting “lands given to superstitious uses”.

Catholic Heritage Archive

The newly released documents are part of the Catholic Heritage Archive, an initiative that aims to digitise the historical records of the Catholic Church in North America, Britain and Ireland for the first time.

Explore 'England & Wales Roman Catholics, 1717' here. NB most FindMyPast records require a subscription to the site to access, however FindMyPast do offer a free initial trial.

For more history news, sign up to History Scotland's FREE newsletter here.