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Kaye family papers

Call Number: MS 240B


This collection consists of estate documents, principally deeds, of the Kaye family of Woodsome in Yorkshire, England, from the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries with the majority of documents dating from the sixteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Some locations cited in these documents include Almondbury, Honley, Kirkheaton, Slaithwaite, Kirkburton, Huddersfield, etc.


  • circa 1200-1770


Language of Materials

English, Latin

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Kaye Family

The Kaye family has a long history in Yorkshire, England. As early as 1378, church and parish records in Almondbury, Yorkshire, note that Dame Alice Fynchenden, upon the death of her husband, Sir William, granted her manor of Woodsome by an indenture to John Cay. Two of the earliest dated documents in the Spencer Research Library's Kaye Family Papers record that John Kay reversed the dower to Dame Alice in 1388 and that Dame Alice gave a receipt for payments from John Kay in 1391. The Kaye Family Papers document the family's property transactions through several centuries. It is sometimes difficult to discern exactly which member of the Kaye family is party to a transaction as sons were often named after family members, all of whom could be of age to sign official or legal documents. After Sir Arthur Kaye (1673?-1726) died, his only child, Elizabeth (1707-1745), married George Legge, Lord Lewisham, subsequently first earl of Dartmouth (1704?-1732). Upon Legge's death, Elizabeth married the widowed Francis North, Lord North and Grey and later first earl of Guilford (1704-1790), in 1736. The Kaye Family Papers came to Spencer Research Library along with many of the North Family Papers and both collections form part of the English Historical Documents Collection.


15.5 Linear Feet (31 boxes + 6 scrolls, 4 oversize folders, 1 oversize box)

Scope and Contents

In this collection of 750 documents written between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, about 650 are estate papers, mostly deed documents relating to the transactions of the Kaye family. The bulk of the documents are dated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The documents that specifically name Kaye family members date from 1373-1770. Earlier papers reveal land transactions in the West Riding area of Yorkshire. The remaining 100 documents are manorial and estate affairs, probate, legal and family matters and a few accounts and surveys. Documents relating to deeds include bargain and sales, bonds, copies of court rolls, feoffments, fines, grants, leases, mortgages, quitclaims, receipts and releases, etc. Manorial and estate papers include rental agreements, lists of fines and arrears and copies of court rolls, etc. Family, legal and probate documents include marriage settlements and wills, etc. Most of the documents hail from West Riding, Yorkshire County, in England with a few of the documents coming from North Riding and East Riding, Yorkshire County, and Durham County. The documents are in Latin and English. Variant spellings of names and places in the Papers are common, e.g, the family name may be spelled Kaye, Kay, Kaey, Cay, Kaie, Keye or Key.


In the physical arrangement of the collection, priority has been given to the type of document, followed by the place and date, and as far as possible, documents relating to the same property have been grouped together. The documents in the collection have been listed to include the following information (if available) for each item: date, names or parties mentioned, general document type (deeds, estate, legal and family matters, etc.), specific document type (bonds, quitclaims, mortgages, marriage settlements, wills, etc.), places (counties, cities/villages and parishes) and notes. The date in the date column of the inventories is usually the earliest date associated with the document; however, the document may contain later dates as well. Documents for which only a year has been identified have been assigned the default date of January 1st. The column heading, "Standard Parish," in the inventories stands for the standardized spelling of the parish name. The notes may include summaries of content, partial transcriptions or translations, paraphrases, information about the physical state of the documents, or names and places not mentioned elsewhere, etc. For the benefit of the researcher two inventories have been generated: physical/document number order and chronological order. Links to pdfs containing these inventories are provided in the Collection Description below.

Physical Location

MS 240B

Physical Location

MS Q21

Other Finding Aids

A detailed listing of the items in the collection as they are physically arranged in folder order is available at

A detailed listing in chronological order is available at

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Hofmann & Freeman Antiquarian Booksellers, 1969, 1977

Related Materials

These collections were acquired from the bookseller Hofmann & Freeman at the same time as the Kaye Family papers. Abbey Dore Collection 1225-circa 1300; call number MS 191 Bolton Company Letters 1695-1710; call number MS 84 Carter, Henry John (1812?-1895) Letters to William Sharpey 1752-1857, 1872-1873; call number MS P61 East India Company Collection 1701-1819; call numbers MS E94-E97, MS R3, MS Roll 1 Fleet Prison 1604-1637, 1677; call numbers MS D114, MS R2 Frampton, Robert, Bishop of Gloucester (1622-1708) Letters 1682/83, 1697-1702; call number MS Q23A, MS Q23B Great Britain. Court of Chancery. Decrees 1733-1783; call number MS 135 Great Britain. Court of Chancery. Records of 3 causes heard before the Lord Chancellor 1671-1728; call number MS Roll 1 Great Britain. Exchequer. Declared accounts 1730-1749; call number MS Q8 Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Committee appointed to enquire into the State of [Gaols]. Copies of [evidence concerning the Eyre-Bambridge case] 29 Oct 1729 - 30 April 1730; call number MS E106 Great Britain. Parliamentary Debates and Common-Place Book 1618; call number MS E103 Great Britain. Royal Subsidies Collection 1605-1627; call number MS Q1 Grover, George Edward Chaplin Family notes on genealogy circa 1881; call number MS E115 Harcourt, George Simon, Earl (1736-1809) An account of the Church and Remains of the Manor House of Stanton Harcourt in the county of Oxford 1808?; call number MS C202 Levant Company Handbook 1606-1720; call number MS E101 Norfolk Recusants Collection. Records of official inquiries into church-attendance, etc. 1591; call number MS 106 Russia Company Collection circa 1696-1698; call number MS 104 Spelman-Macro Miscellany circa 1640-1670; call number MS E107

Separated Materials

The Kaye Family Papers were separated from a large collection of documents purchased from the bookseller Hofmann & Freeman in June 1969. The 3 collections listed below were part of the same consignment. A Miscellany of Deeds and Manorial, Estate, Probate and Family Documents 1194-1900; call number MS 239 Moore Family Papers 1685-1761; call number MS 143 The North Family Papers 1275-1856; call number MS 240A

Guide to the English Historical Documents Collection
Kaye family papers
Finding aid prepared by alh, mwc, sm, gfr, nwa, acs, mce, ksc, eeh, mab, 2013. Finding aid encoded by mab, 2013.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Kaye family papers, English Historical Documents Collection, MS 240B, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States