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Any person interested in enfranchised land may on payment of the fee prescribed by the Lord Chancellor, inspect at any reasonable hour any Court Rolls of the manor of which the land was held; and Court Rolls shall (whether before or after the manorial incidents have been extinguished), for the purposes of section fourteen of the M1Evidence Act, 1851, be deemed to be documents of such a public nature as to be admissible in evidence on their mere production from the proper custody.
(1)All manorial documents shall be under the charge and superintendence of the Master of the Rolls.
(2)Save as hereinafter provided, manorial documents shall remain in the possession or under the control of the lord for the time being of the manor to which the same relate and he shall not be entitled to destroy or damage wilfully such documents.
(3)The Master of the Rolls may from time to time make such enquiries as he shall think fit for the purpose of ascertaining that any manorial documents are in the proper custody, and are being properly preserved, and the lord of the manor to which such documents relate, or the governing body of any public library, or museum or historical or antiquarian society, to which the same may have been transferred, as hereinafter provided, shall furnish the Master of the Rolls with all such information with respect thereto as he may require.
(4)The Master of the Rolls may direct that any manorial documents which, in his opinion, are not being properly preserved, or which he is requested by the lord of a manor to deal with under this subsection, shall be transferred to the Public Record Office, or to any public library, or museum or historical or antiquarian society, which may be willing to receive the same, and if the same shall be transferred to any public library, or museum or historical or antiquarian society, the governing body thereof shall thereafter have the custody thereof and shall be responsible for the proper preservation and indexing thereof.
(5)Nothing contained in this section shall prejudice or affect the right of any person to the production and delivery of copies of any manorial documents or to have the same kept in a proper state of preservation; in particular the lord of the manor shall remain entitled to require the same to be produced to him, or in accordance with his directions, free of any cost.
(6)In this section “manorial documents” mean court rolls, surveys, maps, terriers, documents and books of every description relating to the boundaries, franchises, wastes, customs or courts of a manor, but do not include the deeds and other instruments required for evidencing the title to a manor; “manor” includes a lordship and a reputed lordship; and “lord of the manor” includes any person entitled to manorial documents.
(7)The Master of the Rolls may make rules for giving effect to this section, and may revoke or vary any such rules.]
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