So That's Where I Get It From

March 7, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Memorandum of an Agreement – Joseph Read and Acton Chaplin – 1815

Filed under: Amanuensis Monday, DAILY BLOGGING THEMES — Tags: , , , — rootsresearcher @ 11:41 pm

Amanuensis Monday is a blog theme started by John Newmark on his blog Transylvanian Dutch, in which he is transcribing letters, newspaper articles, audio tapes, and a war diary etc., concerning his family.

John explains Amanuensis as “a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another”.

A few years ago I was able to go to the Buckinghamshire (UK) Record Office and take photos of some of the accounts and letters of my ancestor Joseph Read (1779 – 1856) of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.  Joseph is the grandson of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and the son of Robert and Mary (nee Lee) Read, who I am directly descended from.

Today for Amanuensis Monday I show a Memorandum for an Agreement that Joseph signed with Acton Chaplin regarding the purchase of land.

Photograph of original document taken by me at Buckinghamshire Record Office - copyright 2011


The original Memorandum carried on to the back of the above page:

Photograph taken by me of original document at the Buckinghamshire Record Office - copyright 2011


Transcript of the above document:

Memorandum of an Agreement made this nineteenth day of April one thousand eight hundred and fifteen Between Acton Chaplin of Pitchcott in the County of Bucks Esquire of the one part and Joseph Read of Aylesbury in the same County Yeoman of the other part.

Whereas the said Acton Chaplin hath contracted and agreed with the Trustees and Executors of the last will and testament of Acton Chaplin Esquire his late Father deceased for the purchase of divers freehold and leasehold Messuages Lands and Hereditaments and amongst them of the leasehold close piece or parcel of arable land hereinafter mentioned with the Appurtenances

Now it is hereby agreed between the said Acton Chaplin (party hereto) and Joseph Read as follows

That the same Acton Chaplin and all other necessary parties shall and will on or before the twentieth day of June next convey and assure unto him the said Joseph Read his Executors and Administrators or whom he or they shall direct or appoint All that leasehold close piece or parcel of arable land situate lying and being in the Township of Aylesbury aforesaid called Crown Leys containing by admeasurement Thirteen acres three roods and thirteen perches together with the crop of Beans now growing thereon and all Appurtenances thereto belonging –

That on the execution of such conveyances the said Joseph Read shall pay for the purchase of the same the Sum of seven hundred and eighty pounds with lawful Interest thereon from the said twentieth of June to the completion of the purchase in case the purchase shall by any means be delayed after that day

That the said Joseph Read shall be let into immediate possession of the said premises and pay all Taxes and outgoings therefrom from Lady Day last up to which time all outgoings shall be cleared by the said Acton Chaplin or the said Trustees and Executors

That the Expences of making out the Title shall be paid by the said Acton Chaplin or the said Trustees and Executors and those of the Conveyances by the said Joseph ReadThat in case it shall happen that the contract so entered into by the said Acton Chaplin with the said Trustees and Executors shall not be carried into effect by reason of any defect of Title to any part of the premises so agreed to be purchased by the same Acton Chaplin or otherwise then this present Agreement shall be void as to the said Sale to the said Joseph Read and in that case all just allowances shall be made in respect of the occupation of the said Crown Leys to be settled by Arbitration in the usual way between the parties in case they should differ about the same

As Witness their Hands

Acton Chaplin 

Joseph Read


At the time this Agreement was signed, Joseph was 36 years old (one year older than Acton Chaplin).  Joseph was married and five of his ten children were born by the year he signed this document.

Joseph Read was a farmer or Yeoman as it states here, but he also owned a brickmaking factory in Aylesbury and by the time of the 1851 Census he was employing 90 people (it’s unclear whether this is men, women, or something else) and 6 Labourers.

I researched the other gentleman he signed the Agreement with and was unable to find out very much about him.  Acton Chaplin was born on 7th June 1780 and baptised on 19th June 1780 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.  His parents were Acton Chaplin and Ann Sherriff and they married at Aylesbury on 25th August 1776.

I am also trying to discover the land or property known as Crown Leys in Aylesbury, but so far haven’t discovered anything yet.  (But then that maybe only because I have very recently started to look)!!  😉



  1. hi my name is neil keeble i live in aylesbury i think the land named crown leys is now alfred rose park he gave the land to the counsel in 1942 wile he was mayor . my great grand father was william henry cox of denham lodge , i can remember going there as a small child with my late mother

    Comment by neil keeble — May 30, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    • Hallo Neil,

      Thank you for visiting my blog and for your very interesting comment. I apologise for the very long delay in answering this but sent you an email a while ago so hope you received that? I’ve not been able to do any family history research for a while now due to family commitments but am hoping that I can work out a routine where I can have some time to get back into my research. Hopefully we can compare research notes soon and I can find out more about Crown Leys following the info you have given.

      Kind regards,


      Comment by rootsresearcher — December 22, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

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