Manuscripts and Special Collections

Notaries and Registrars

Illustration of Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham, published in 1854

Picture of Bridlesmith Gate, Nottinghamshire, by Mrs W. M. Enfield (1854), f From Acc 830

Enjoying a career of more than 40 years in the Registry of the Archdeaconry, John Tibberd (c.1572-1639) was a well-known face in Nottingham.

He began examining Presentment Bills in 1596. At the time Miles Leigh was the Official, or judge, of the court. John Martiall, who was Tibberd's uncle, was the Deputy Registrar, writing up all the acts of the court in the place of the absent Registrar, Matthew Weeks.

In 1602 Tibberd became the Deputy Registrar. He was also a notary public, authorised to certify important documents issued by the court. His neat writing occurs on thousands of pages in the Archdeaconry archive.

He kept accounts for the court, and one of the volumes (AN/AC 1/1) contains many personal jottings alongside the official records. It includes evidence of his timber, barley, malt and corn dealings, and of his money lending, which was sometimes on the security of household items like sheets and towels.

Shown here are a list of household items bought for his home on Bridlesmith Gate in Nottingham, an astrological table showing which signs of the zodiac governed the health of various parts of the body, and a beautifully-written motto showing his skills in calligraphy.


Handwritten astrological table from 1627

A table shewinge what signe the moone is inn & shallbe for ever & also what parte of mannes bodye ev[er]y signe dothe governe w[i]th the infirmities incident theareto

Written by John Tibberd, 1627. The first two lines show the infirmities governed by Taurus: 'The head: Deafenes, baldnes, toothache, Epilepsie' from AN/AC 1/1


Handwritten list of goods with prices, from the early 17th century

Anno 1613. A note of suche goodes as I have since my comminge into Bridlesmith gate bought.

The first two items listed are, 'one bason havinge on it the Kings Armes on it and stamped with the letter J', costing 8 shillings, and 'two greate candlestickes' costing 6 shillings.


Example of Tibberd's calligraphy

Delight thou in the Lord and he will give thee thy heard's desire From AN/AC 1/1


Tibberd gave up the office of deputy registrar in 1625. From then on, he worked as a proctor, or ecclesiastical lawyer. In 1634 he was ordained as a deacon at St Mary's parish church in Nottingham. This allowed him to read services at the chapel at Sneinton, where he was owner of the tithes. He died in 1639.


Illustration showing St Mary's Church, published in 1848

St Mary's church, Nottinghamshire, by J.A. Hammersley (1848) from Acc 830

Image of Sneinton chapel, published in 1797

Sneinton chapel, from Throsby's revised Antiquities of Nottinghamshire (1797) From East Midlands Spec. Coll. Not 1.D14.THO



Next: Penance and Punishment


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651