Papers of Indenture, England 1667

Collection Overview

Title: Papers of Indenture, England 1667

Record Series: MsC-41

Record Group:


Creator: William Cutler, William Savage, Nicholas Cutler, and David Clarke

Date: 1667

Extent: 1 box (0.209 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, University of Northern Iowa

Language: The material is entirely in 17th-century English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: Papers of Indenture, England 1667, MsC-41,Special Collections & University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

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Historical Note

Since the document isn’t written on official stationary and doesn’t have signatures or wax seals, it appears to have been a personal copy made for one of the parties involved. The contract stipulates the conditions of the sale of pasture land by one William Cutler to William Savage, Nicholas Cutler, both of whom were grocers (spice merchants), and David Clarke, an apothecary.

Transcribing documents like these can be a daunting task. There are several abbreviations, and no punctuation. Many of the letters were written differently than our own equivalents, and some of them had several different forms, sometimes in the same word.

For instance, the unknown scribe's capital S is written like an 8.  In the middle of the word he uses a small cursive s or a “long” s (ƒ), or both in combination. At the end of words his s looks like the number 6. Thus, the word "Sasses," were it used here (it's not), would be written 8asƒΘ6. (Θ = small e.)

The scribe also wrote his small c as τ and his small r as x. He didn’t cross his t’s, and a d at the end of a word looked something like δ. These are a few examples, but there are many more.  Complicating matters, he ended some of his words with decorative flourishes, which can easily be mistaken for a separate letter.

The first seven lines are transcribed below. The original spellings have been retained, although the letters themselves have been modernized. 

This Indenture made the twentieth day of October in the eighteenth yeare

of the reign of (our) sovereign Lord Charles the Second by the grace of god

of England Scotland France & Ireland king defender of the faith & c.

[indecipherable] one thousand six hundred sixty & seven: Betweene

William Cutler of London (party) of the one (part) And William Savage Citizen

And grocer of London Nicholas Cutler of London grocer sonne of

the said William Cutler and David Clarke of London Apothecary

The words in parentheses are abbreviations in the text, written out here because the scribe used characters that can’t be reproduced by a computer.

Scope and Content

This box contains a 1667 land indenture (contract) from England, made during the time of Charles II. Its provenance is unknown. It was here in Special Collections and University Archives before 1974, but it isn't known under what circumstances it was acquired.


Folder A: Paper of indenture, England, 1667 (6 leaves)

Processing Information

Item processed and finding aid created by Library Associate Dave Hoing, February 2017; updated September 26, 2017. Linear feet count updated on August 9, 2017.