William Law Phelps papers
The bulk of the material is in the form of correspondence (1803- 1834) addressed to Phelps or jointly to Phelps and an associate solicitor:Phelps & (Edward) Savage, 1812-1820; Phelps & (Thomas) Blaney, 1803- 1816; Phelps & (Samuel) Kinsey, 1816-1822; Phelps & (George) Best, 1827-1831; Phelps & Smith, 1833; and Phelps & (Samuel) Amos, 1811-1834. Interfiled with the correspondence are receipts, notes, bills, and a few small account books.
Although the bulk of the material in this collection involves Phelps, the contents establish that Thomas Blaney preceeded Phelps as solicitor in Evesham. An early associate of Blaney was Mr. Welch. (See V. 2) It is likely that Phelps and Blaney became associated around 1803. Some complaints and testimony are dated from the 18th century (1740-1799) and form part of the material specific to Thomas Blaney or to Blaney and Welch. Included are marriage and baptismal records from a parish church in Quinton, 1758; certificates for the British Tontine (1792-1793); rent receipts and transactions for Thomas Rous (1741-1764).
Between 1760 and 18l5, thousands of acres of common agricultural fields and pastures were converted into individual holdings during the enclosure movement in England. Since the law practice of Phelps and and his associates was located in an agricultural area, some of their work involved settling land disputes resulting from enclosure. (See V.6, 1799-1825 and V.7, 1800- 1822.) Another case of several years duration concerned the Bredon estates in Worcestershire. (See V. 9, 1806-1821.)
Subjects of other cases include collection of accounts, rents, dissolution of partnerships, settling estates, tresspass, and foreclosures. Some of the complaints demonstrate how highly regarded the countryside was held by the local people. One notice included in V. 2, 1758-1822 asks for information concerning the defacement of a brook called Twyning Cowpasture brook.
Members of an Evesham merchant family named Goore were clients of Phelps for many years. Included at the back of most of the volumes are bills from tea dealers, paper makers, tobacconists, snuff makers, and dye makers addressed to Francis and later, Thomas Goore.
After 1834, the correspondence is addressed to Samuel Amos, and deals primarily with settling estates. The final item relates to the estate of William Balden and is dated 1840.
- 1741 - 1840
- Phelps, William Law (Solicitor) (Person)
4.13 Cubic Feet (3 record center cartons, 1 letter size document box) : 15 volumes
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Amos, Samuel, active 1811-1838
- Best, George, active 1828-1831
- Blaney, Thomas, active 1784-1816
- Goore, Francis, active 1800-1807
- Goore, Thomas, active 1800-1807
- Kinsey, Samuel, active 1816-1822
- Land tenure
- Phelps, William Law (Solicitor)
- Practice of law
- account books
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA