Manuscripts and Special Collections

Assignment of mortgage

This document was created when a mortgagee wished to recover his money, but the mortgagor could not pay it back. The mortgagee would assign the mortgage to another person, who would pay him the money he was owed. Now the mortgagor had a new person to deal with, to pay interest to every year, and eventually, to pay the capital sum back to.


Transfer of a debt secured on real property.

Features of assignments of mortgages

  • 17th-19th centuries
  • large
  • written on parchment
  • usually written in English
  • indenture (wavy top edge)
  • seal

Important words and phrases

The mortgagor was usually a party to the assignment. The deed includes recitals of the term of the original mortgage. The new part of the deed begins with the words 'Now This Indenture Witnesseth'. Another clue that it is an assignment comes with the words:

'have granted, bargained, sold, assigned and set over...'

The term will be 'for the rest and residue of the said term' if it is a mortgage by demise, or 'for ever' in a mortgage by conveyance.

If a consideration is stated, it will be the sum of money owed to the original mortgagee, or perhaps a nominal sum such as 5 shillings.

Mortgaged property could also be sold entirely. The proceeds would be split between the mortgagee, who would get back his principal sum, and the mortgagor, who would receive the balance.


In this example, which illustrates how complicated mortgage deeds could get, a mortgage for 500 years created in 1673 was assigned to various people until it was terminated in 1707. Clink on the hyperlinks to see fuller descriptions of each document on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

Deed Pl E9/2/31-40

Pl E9/2/31/1

In 1673, Sir Charles Dymocke of Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire, and [his trustee] John Morris Esq. of London, mortgaged the manor of Cawkwell, Lincolnshire 'with its appurtenances and the advowson of the church', to Nicholas Lanyon Esq. of the parish of St. James, Clerkenwell, Middlesex. The mortgage was for 500 years and the purpose was to secure the repayment of £2,000 plus interest.


Pl E9/2/33

Just over two years later, in December 1675, the mortgage was assigned. Nicholas Lanyon had died, as had his executrix Dame Dorothy Warren alias Lanyon. The assignment was therefore made by her executor Arthur Warren the younger, of Toton, Nottinghamshire. The people found to take over the mortgage were Elizabeth and Lucy Wiseman, spinsters, of Broadoakes, Kent.


Pl E9/2/34

In August 1677, Arthur Warren the elder of Toton took over Elizabeth Wiseman's half of the mortgage. The assignment was made by Elizabeth and her new husband, Richard Cleggett, citizen and draper of London.


Pl E9/2/35/1

Five years later, in November 1682, both halves of the mortgage were assigned, for the residue of the term of 500 years, to John Parker of Billingay, Lincolnshire, gent., and Thomas Storr of Kirkeby, Lincolnshire, gent. £1,000 each was paid to Lucy Wiseman, and (as Arthur Warren the elder had died in the interim) to the administrator of his goods, another Arthur Warren of Toton.


Pl E9/2/36/1-4

In January 1684/5, the Hon. Banastre Maynard Esq. of Chelsea, Middlesex, took over the mortgage, which was now increased to £2,200. He required more assurances of repayment than the previous mortgagees. Four separate deeds and documents were drawn up, which worked together to secure the transaction:


  • A deed of assignment of the manor from John Parker and Thomas Storr to Banastre Maynard, with the consent of Sir Charles Dymocke, for the remainder of the 500 years. (Pl E9/2/36/1)
  • A deed conveying 'the inheritance of the manor of Cawkewell' - that is, Sir Charles's right to the property - from Sir Charles Dymocke to two trustees for Banastre Maynard called Peter Clayton and Anthony Keck. (Pl E9/2/36/2)
  • A bond in £4,000 in which Sir Charles Dymocke agreed to perform covenants in a defeasance of even date. (Pl E9/2/36/4)
  • A defeasance [a legal instrument laying out conditions on which something would happen] in which Sir Charles Dymocke agreed to pay Banastre Maynard £2,310 [the principal sum plus interest], by 1 February 1685/6 (Pl E9/2/36/3)

Pl E9/2/37/1-2

In fact, the money was not repaid in 1686. In June 1688, the mortgage for 500 years was assigned again, from Banastre Maynard to the Hon. Roger North Esq. of the Middle Temple, London. North was now owed the £2,200 plus interest.

At the same time, the 'inheritance' of the manor was conveyed by lease and release from Anthony Keck to John Weston and Robert Yard, trustees for Roger North. This was done with the consent of both Maynard and the new owner of the manor, Sir Charles Dymocke's son and namesake, Charles Dymocke Esq. of Scrivelsby. It was specified that the inheritance would be redeemed on repayment of the principal sum of £2,200.


Pl E9/2/38/1-2

The next development was in 1706, when the mortgage was assigned again. Weston and Yard conveyed the inheritance to Sir Thomas Meres of the parish of St. Giles in the Fields, Middlesex; and Roger North assigned the mortgage to Sir Thomas Meres' trustees Sir Horatio Pettus of Rackheath, Norfolk, Bart., and the Rev. William Hayley, DD, Dean of Chichester. The Hon. Lewis Dymocke, Charles Dymocke's brother and heir, was a party to the assignment, as were his trustees John Parker of North Kyme, Lincolnshire, and Edward Ayscough of Bernards Inn, London. The consideration [principal mortgage sum] was now £2,878 10/-.


Pl E9/2/39 and Pl E9/2/40/1-2

Finally, in June 1707, the manor of Cawkwell was sold to the Duke of Newcastle and the mortgage paid off. The money paid by the Duke was just enough to repay the mortgage.


The transaction was recorded in two different deeds, to make sure that it was entirely legal:


  • A lease and release, dated 18 and 19 June 1707 (Pl E9/2/40/1-2). There were seven parties to the release and it was doubly complicated because it also referred to a simultaneous conveyance of the manor of South Kyme. The manor of Cawkwell was conveyed to the Duke of Newcastle and his heirs by John Weston and Edward Ayscough. Weston and Ayscough were acting by the direction of Lewis Dymocke, Sir Thomas Meres, John Meres [Sir Thomas's son and heir], Richard Sherrard [Sir Thomas's trustee], Roger North and John Parker. Roger North also assigned the manor of Cawkwell to the Duke of Newcastle's trustees Thomas, Lord Pelham and the Hon. Henry Pagett, for the remainder of the term of 500 years, in trust for the Duke of Newcastle. The consideration was £2,878 10/-, paid to the mortgagee Sir Thomas Meres. The actual owner of the manor, Lewis Dymocke, received nothing
  • A bargain and sale of the manor of Cawkwell, dated 19 June 1707 (Pl E9/2/39), from Lewis Dymocke, his widowed mother Jane Dymocke, John Parker and Edward Ayscough, to the Duke of Newcastle. It was recited that the consideration of £2,878 10/- was the same sum mentioned in the seven part indenture bearing even date.

For an example of a mortgage assignment which is not written in a separate deed, see Ne 6 D 2/31/14-15 in the Lease and Release section of this Skills Unit.


Next page: Settlements and entails


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