Manuscripts and Special Collections



Quitclaims helped to secure transactions. In the medieval period they could sometimes be used on their own to convey land. All people who might potentially bring a claim against a new owner to return the property to them (e.g. relatives or creditors of the seller) were asked to sign a quitclaim waiving all their possible rights and promising not to bring any legal actions.

Quitclaims from the seventeenth century onwards are sometimes referred to as 'Releases', or 'Releases of claims'. They often relate to the transfer of incorporeal property, for example the payment of legacies or annuities. On payment of the money, the recipient would sign a quitclaim waiving his rights to the land out of which the money was raised.



To provide additional security around the sale or transfer of property from one party to another.

Features of quitclaims

  • 12th-19th centuries
  • variable size
  • written on parchment or paper
  • usually written in Latin until 1733
  • deed poll (straight top edge)
  • seal

Important words and phrases

The operative words (which remained virtually the same from the early medieval period right through to the nineteenth century), are as follows:

[Latin] Remisisse, relaxasse et omnio pro me heredibus et executores meis imperpetuum quiete clamasse... totum vis meum statum titulim et interesse...


[English] I have remised, released, and for myself, my heirs and executors, forever quitclaimed... all my right estate title and interest... 


Ne D 911 - Quitclaim (Latin) from Richard ad Scalarin to William, Lord of Bevercotes of his right and claim to Bevercotes Park and Bretland Wood enclosure, Nottinghamshire and to fishing rights; [c.1250]

Deed Ne D 911

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View a line-by-line breakdown of this deed

This is a good example of a medieval quitclaim. It is written on a small piece of rectangular parchment, 18.5 cm wide by 9 cm long. We know it is a quitclaim because of the following characteristics:

  • It is a deed poll, that is, the top of the deed is cut in a straight line. This indicates that the deed was made by just one person
  • It begins with the words 'Omnibus Christi fidelibus' - although other forms of words are sometimes used for quitclaims
  • It includes the phrase 'remisse et quietum clamasse'
  • It has been sealed with one personal seal


This particular quitclaim is not dated. The date of c.1250 has been estimated from comparison with other similar deeds in the same bundle. 



[line 1] Om[n]ibus Xpi [Christi] fidelib[us] ad quos p[re]s[e]ns sc[ri]ptu[m] p[er]ven[er]it Ricard[us] ad scalariu[m] de Beu[er]cot[es] sal[ute]m in d[omi]no Nov[er]itis me

[line 2] p[ro] me & h[er]edib[us] meis remisisse & quietu[m] clamasse Wil[ie]l[m]o d[omi]no de beu[er]cot[es] totu[m] ius & clam[eu]m q[uo]d h[ab]ui u[e]l aliq[uo] t[em]p[or]e

[line 3] h[abe]re potui i[n] parco suo de Beu[er]cot[es] ta[m] i[n] bosco de Bretland i[n]cluso q[ua]m i[n] parco p[ri]us f[a]c[t]o. Itaq[ue] ego d[i]c[tu]s Ricard[us] n[ec] aliq[ui]s

[line 4] h[er]ed[um] meor[um] n[ec] aliq[ui]s alius no[m]i[n]e m[e]o u[e]l no[m]i[n]e h[er]edu[m] m[e]o[rum] aliq[ua]m [com]muna[m] n[ec] aliq[ui]d aliud ius decet[er]o i[n] d[ic]to parco n[ec] i[n] d[ic]to

[line 5] bretland i[n]cluso aliq[uo] m[od]o vendicare pot[er]i[m]us P[ro] hac au[tem] remissione & q[ui]eta clamac[io]ne dedit m[ihi] p[re]d[i]c[tu]s do[mi]n[u]s q[uo]dda[m] fossat[um] ex[tr]a cu-

[line 6] ria[m] mea[m] i[n] crofto aliqu[ando] Henrici Lelilie de latitudi[n]e duo[rum] pedu[m] & de lo[n]gitudi[n]e sexagi[n]ta & septe[m]deci[m] pedu[m] & [com]muna[m] i[n] aq[ua] de

[line 7] fulbech ta[m] i[n] piscariis q[ua]m i[n] aliis reb[us]. Videl[icet] a po[n]te de Hatfeld usq[ue] ad magna[m] aq[ua]m de ydil. In cui[us] rei testimo[n]iu[m] hinc p[re]s[e]nti sc[ri]p-

[line 8] to sig[i]ll[um] meu[m] apposui. Hiis testib[us] Ar[-]o de Lynham. Robert[o] morin de Hoxtun. Ricard[o] de sutton de Aulxbi. Henric[o] fr[atr]e p[res]b[it]ri de mar-

[line 9] cham. Robert[o] palmer de ead[em]. Henric[o] fil[ie] lucie de Beu[er]cot[es]. Robert[o] carpentar[io] de Hoxtun & alii[s].


[line 1] To all faithful Christian people to whom this present writing shall come, Richard ad Scalarium [ie Richard at Stile?] of Bevercotes [gives] greeting in the Lord. Know that I,

[line 2] for myself and my heirs, have remised and quitclaimed to William, Lord of Bevercotes, all right and claim which I have or at any time

[line 3] might have had in his park of Bevercotes, as well in the enclosed wood of Bretland, as in the park formerly made. So that from henceforth neither I the said Richard, nor any of my

[line 4] heirs, nor any one else in my name or in the name of my heirs, can in any way claim any right of common, nor any other right, in the said park or the said

[line 5] Bretland enclosure; But on the other hand by this remission and quitclaim the said Lord has given to me a certain fossat [ditch, dike or mound] outside

[line 6] my courtyard, in a croft once Henry Lelilie's, of width two feet and length 77 (60 + 17) feet, and right of common in the water of

[line 7] Fulbech as well in fishing-places as in other things, that is to say from the bridge of Hatfeld up to the big water of Ydil [the river Idle]. In witness of which thing I have put my seal to this present writing.

[line 8] These being witnesses, Arnold[?] de Lyneham, Robert Moris of Hoxtun, Richard de Sutton of Aulxbi, Brother Henry, priest of Mar-

[line 9] cham [Markham], Robert Palmer of the same, Henry son of Luke of Bevercotes, Robert Carpentar of Hoxtun and others


Ne D 3129 - Quitclaim of the dower of Elizabeth Clough to Thomas Heron on a close in Newark, Nottinghamshire; 29 May 1773

Deed Ne D 3129

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This is a typical later quitclaim, used to back up a conveyance by renouncing all rights the quitclaimer might have had in the land. Elizabeth Clough's late husband had sold the land twenty years earlier, but on his death it was technically possible that she might claim a right to dower. She therefore made a quitclaim so that the new owner could be sure of his title.


Like the medieval quitclaim: 

  • It is a deed poll, that is, the top of the deed is cut in a straight line. This indicates that the deed was made by just one person
  • It includes the phrase 'granted remised released and forever quitclaimed'
  • It has been sealed with one personal seal


Many quitclaims were drawn up when a portion was paid to a son reaching the age of 21. The son would make a quitclaim renouncing his rights over the land on which the portion was charged.



To All to whom these Presents shall come Elizabeth Clough of Newark upon Trent in the

County of Nottingham Widow and Relict of John Clough late of Newark upon Trent aforesaid Gentleman

deceased sends Greeting Whereas by Indenture of Feoffment bearing date the Third day of December which was

in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Fifty four and made or mentioned to be made between the

said John Clough and the said Elizabeth his Wife of the one Part and Thomas Heron of Newark upon Trent aforesaid

Gentleman of the other Part They the said John Clough and Elizabeth his Wife in Consideration of the Sum of Sixty three

Pounds therein mentioned to be paid to them by the said Thomas Heron Did grant bargain sell alien enfeoff and

confirm unto the said Thomas Heron his Heirs and Assigns All that their Close or Piece or Parcel of inclosed Ground

lying and being in Newark aforesaid containing by Estimation half an Acre then in the Occupation of John Johnson

adjoining to the Homestead of the said Thomas Heron on the East the High Road South with the Appurtenances

To hold unto the said Thomas Heron his Heirs and Assigns To the only proper use and behoof of the said Thomas

Heron his Heirs and Assigns for ever And whereas the said John Clough is since dead, whereby the said Elizabeth

Clough did upon the decease of the said John Clough become intitled to her Dower or Thirds in the said Premises

Now know Ye that the said Elizabeth Clough in pursuance of the Covenant on the Part of the said John Clough

contained in the said recited Indenture of Feoffment for further Assurance of the said Close or Parcel of inclosed

Ground and in Consideration of the sum of Ten Shillings of lawful Money of Great Britain to her in Hand paid

by the said Thomas Heron on or before the sealing and Delivery of these Presents the receipt whereof is hereby

acknowledged And for other good Causes and Considerations She the said Elizabeth Clough Hath granted remised

released and for ever Quit claimed And by these Presents Doth fully and absolutely grant remise release

and for ever quit claim unto the said Thomas Heron his Heirs and Assigns for ever All the Dower and Thirds

Right and Title of Dower and Thirds and all other the Estate Right Title Interest Property Claim and demand

whatsoever either at Law or in Equity of her the said Elizabeth Clough of in or to the said Close or Parcel of inclosed Ground

called the Tenter Close with all and every the Appurtenances thereto belonging So that neither she the said Elizabeth

Clough her Heirs Executors or Administrators nor any other Person or Persons for her them or any of them have claim

Challenge or demand or pretend to have Claim Challenge or demand any Dower or Thirds or any other Right

Title Claim or demand of in or to the said Premises or any Part thereof with the appurtenances But thereof

and therefrom shall be utterly debarred and excluded for ever by these Presents In Witness whereof the said

Elizabeth Clough hath hereunto set her Hand and Seal this Twenty ninth day of May in the Year of our Lord One

thousand Seven hundred and Seventy three.

E Clough



Sealed and delivered (being first

duly Stampt) In the Presence of



Job Brough

J C Brough



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