TitleSheffield Town Trustees
AdminHistoryIn 1297, Thomas de Furnival created a seignorial borough of Sheffield, by granting the feefarm to the burgesses of Sheffield. In effect, this is the formal commencement of the Burgery of Sheffield, the predecessors of the Town Trustees. Originally, the Burgery combined the functions later exercised by both the Church Burgesses and the Town Trustees. On the dissolution of the chantries, the property deemed to have been endowed for spiritual purposes was confiscated, and the residual property entrusted to the Town Trustees for secular purposes. The Marian restoration of property to Church Burgesses for ecclesiastical purposes in 1554 brought the final separation of Church Burgesses and Town Trustees. The charters of the old Burgery before 1554 have thus all become the property of the Church Burgesses, with the exception of the feefarm charter of 1297. The early charters and deeds before 1554 were catalogued by T. W. Hall, A Catalogue of the Ancient Charters belonging to the Twelve Capital Burgesses (1913), and these, with all the other records of the Church Burgesses, were deposited at Sheffield Archives in 1976.

The Town Trustees consequently acted on behalf of the commonalty of Sheffield as the administration of the township for secular purposes, although some of these functions were also exercised by the manorial court. The Trustees were largely supplanted in this in 1843 when Sheffield was incorporated. The Trustees continued to implement street improvements under private Act of Parliament.

The records of the Trustees commence with the first account book in 1566.

The Trust has a wide range of responsibilities prior to the establishment of the Borough Council, includuing street improvements and water supply.

The property of the Trustees was largely concentrated in the centre of Sheffield township, with outlying property in Fulwood and Upper Hallam. As with the deeds of the Church Burgesses' estates and the registers of building leases of the Duke of Norfolk, the deeds of the Trustees throw further light on the topographical and spatial development of Sheffield. They confirm the picture of infilling of the centre of the Township in the 1780s and 1790s, prior to the outward expansion. Similarly, they shed light on the building process, the builders and the building financiers. Of particular interest are the building leases granted by the Rev. James Wilkinson, vicar of Sheffield, when Vicarage Croft was developed in 1787. The leasehold premises later passed to the Trustees.

The Town Trust continues to this day (2011). The trustees meet four times a year, mainly to consider applications for its charitable funds.
DescriptionFee farm charter of 1297 (TT/1)

Minute books, 1709-1997 (TT/2)

Law Clerk's rough minutes, 1848-1908 (TT/3)

Financial records, 1566 - 1984 (TT/4)

Survey and rentals, 1780-1945 (TT/5)

Registers of assignments of leases, 1787-1970 (TT/6)

Botanical Gardens Committee, 1898-1933 (TT/7)

Daniel Holy's Charity, [1869]-1951 (TT/8)

Street Improvement plans and books of reference, 1845 and 1873 - 1874 (TT/9)

Deeds and some miscellaneous papers, 1533 - 1985 (TT/10)

Acts of Parliament (TT/11)

Miscellaneous items (TT/12)
Date1297 - 1990
Extentapprox. 1,035 items
AccessConditionsAccess to information in records less than 25 years old is restricted. Please refer to staff for advice on how to access such information.
RelatedMaterialThe earliest accounts and the minutes to 1955 have been edited in toto or extracted:

Leader, J. D., Extracts from the Earliest Book of Accounts belonging to the Town Trustees of Sheffield,... 1566 to 1707, (1879) (Sheffield Local Studies Library: 942.74 SST)

Leader, J. D., The Records of the Burgery of Sheffield, (1897) [1566-1848]
(Sheffield Local Studies Library: J 942.74 S; Sheffield Archives: TT/PRINT SOURCE)

Bramley, E., A Record of the Burgery of Sheffield... from 1848 to 1955, (1957)
(Sheffield Local Studies Library: 942.74 S; Sheffield Archives: TT/PRINT SOURCE)

See also Sheffield Archives: MD4056 & LD1679.
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