Welcome to the website of the Berkshire Record Society. The Society was founded in October 1993 to print scholarly editions of important documents on the history of Berkshire held in the Berkshire Record Office and elsewhere. Our aim is to publish one volume each year and we welcome ideas for new projects.
Before the Society was formed there was no systematic programme of publishing historic records in Berkshire. Yet the county has a rich heritage of written records. The Society has selected a wide variety of documents ranging in date from the middle ages to the nineteenth century as the subjects for its volumes. Eighteen volumes have been published and more are in preparation. Each volume contains the printed transcript of an original text, fully annotated, with a scholarly introduction and an index.
The Society is backed by the History Department of the University of Reading and by the Berkshire Record Office and has individual and institutional members from around the world including many leading university and national libraries.
In this website you will find details of the benefits of membership; how to join the Society and how to order our publications which are available to members and to non-members.
Since its foundation the Society has made an important contribution to scholarship in Berkshire.
Berkshire Feet of Fines, 1307-1509
In December 2017 the Berkshire Record Society published volumes 23 and 24, Berkshire Feet of Fines, 1307-1509, (Part I Fines 1307-1399, Part II Fines 1400-1509 and Index), edited by Margaret Yates.
Final concords, sometimes known as fines, are legal agreements recording the transfer of freehold land and were a secure means of ensuring good title to a property. They were made in the king’s court following a fictitious law-suit, and were written out three times so that both parties received an identical copy, whilst the final part, the foot (pedes finium), was retained by the court as a central record of the transaction and open to inspection. While many of the parts belonging to the parties to the law-suit have been lost, the feet of the fines have survived in their thousands in the National Archives. Many county series have been published since the late nineteenth century and reflect antiquarian interest in manorial history and landownership. In addition, more recent research has shown how they can tell us a great deal about changes in land use and agriculture, and the value of land and its market as a commodity during the medieval period. In this edition Dr Yates has provided abstracts of over 1500 such documents for Berkshire, together with an introduction enabling the reader to understand the significance of the documents and their potential for historical research.
An Historical Atlas of Berkshire
In December 2012 the Berkshire Record Society published the second edition of An Historical Atlas of Berkshire, edited by Joan Dils and Margaret Yates with maps by Clive Brown.
ISBN: 0 9548716 9 3