Located AtStaffordshire Record Office
Alt Ref NoD1798 and subsequent accessions
TitleRecords of Hand Morgan and Owen, solicitors, of Stafford
Administrative HistoryInformation about the history of the firm and its partners:
Robert William Hand was Town Clerk to Stafford Corporation from 1858 until c.1872. In 1853 he had been appointed Receiver of the rents and profits of the entire property of Stafford Borough as part of a mortgage process, having previously been a Committee member discussing the Corporation's finances in 1852. He was appointed Under-Sheriff from c.1840. Robert Hand died in 1873 but his sons were too young to take over his legal practice, and the business was to be continued by the firm of Blakiston & Everitt (Matthew Folliott Blakiston was appointed Under Sheriff and Clerk of the Peace in 1873 and Town Clerk by 1875). The firm was then called Messrs. Hand, Blakiston and Everett, later Hand, Blakiston, Everitt and Hand.
In 1892 the firm was called Hand & Hand. Charles Frederic Hand died in 1906. In 1909 it was called Messrs. Hand and Co. In 1927 the firm amalgamated with Morgan & Co of Martin Street, and became Messrs Hands Morgan & Co. and had leased part of No 4 Martin Street for use as a County Court Office. A further amalgamation with Owen lead to the firm's continuing name as Hand Morgan & Owen.
(Further information can be found from Kelly's directories.)
This collection also includes records of a predecessor business of Collins & Keen, both practice and client records. In 1837 there was a firm under the name of Keen & Hand.
Other records appear to have been acquired from other practising lawyers and attorneys, such as Hickin, Robins and Perry, whose business papers may have been acquired under executorships or other methods.

The main accession D1798 was continually being added to, until c.1997 when additional accessions were treated separately. Some earlier accessions were also treated separately, but most were catalogued as D1798. All items from D1798/616 onwards previously formed the "uncatalogued collection" to which some temporary reference numbers were allocated until final listing.
Date13th-20th cent.
DescriptionThe Hand Morgan Collection has been assembled over a very long period. As the oldest and largest legal practice in Stafford, a vast number of local families, businesses and organisations feature among its clients. Members of the firm also acted as Clerks of the Peace, Town Clerk, Under-Sheriff, and other public offices at various times, so those offices are also represented among the papers.

The collection also includes practice records of Collins and Keen, whose business the firm acquired. George Keen was Under-Sheriff c.1831-1838. W Keen was Under-Sheriff in 1798. Other lawyer's or legal papers can be found under the Clients' series, particularly relating to Hickin, Perry and Robins.

A paper list summarising of the distribution of main clients across the different accessions is available upon request.

Of the many separate accessions, some were specific to certain properties or clients, while others related to a range of properties or clients, or were not easily classifiable. An attempt was made to put a structure on this, but this work has not yet been completed, and so many entries appear without a series heading, although may sit under a section heading for a particular client. Others have been grouped under a place sequence, and others are part of larger general series of wills or miscellaneous personal papers.

Accession D5566: introductory text relevant to numbering order, since re-distributed into the new catalogue:
"This collection is an additional deposit to the records of the firm of solicitors, Messrs Hand, Morgan and Owen, Stafford. Some of the parties and properties named in the records will be found in earlier deposits under the reference D1798. Deeds relating to Staffordshire and Shropshire premises have been arranged topographically rather than by client, due to the large number of disparate premises referred to in the deeds. Premises have been listed under parishes in alphabetical order of parish and township within parish. Deeds relating to premises in Cheshire and Lancashire were already arranged in family groups and have been left in this form.
Records relating to Staffordshire premises have been listed first and records relating to premises in other counties have been listed at the end, alphabetically by county and parish within the county, where appropriate. There is a surname index to the main landowning families which covers both this collection and the earlier deposit."

Additionally, there are some uncatalogued accessions for which no entries as yet appear in this catalogue, please ask for further details:
D3371, duplicate Ordnance Survey sheets (advance notice required)
D5835: practice papers of the firm Lloyd & Robinson, solicitors of 6 Lichfield Road, Stafford, including miscellaneous title deeds and copy of the Eccleshall tithe apportionment.
D5951: deeds for land at Rickerscote and Radford Bank, Stafford
D6054: documents of title to land at Haughton, 1789-1932 (0.5 box)
D6139: documents of title to land in Croxton and Eccleshall, 1816-1989 (0.25 box)
D6222: documents of title including to property in Garmelow, Horsley and Offley Hay, p. Eccleshall, and Cowley p. Gnosall (Addison family), 1833-1966; also to Booden Farm p. Haughton, 1780-1920 and Coton Clanford p. Seighford, 1807-1915 (1 box)
D6296: documents of title to land in Bednall (Kenderdine family), 1915-2002 (0.25 box)
D6319: documents of title to land in Doxey (Dyche family), 1859-1906 (0.25 box)
D6369: documents of title to Bellamour and other properties in Colton, 19th-20th cent. (0.5 box)
D6398: documents of title mainly to lands in Haughton, 1647-1932 (0.5 box)
D6444: documents of title to Great Bridgeford Farm, 19th-20th cent. (1 box)
D6454: documents of title to land at Abbots Bromley, 1778-1958 (0.25 box)
D6516: documents of title to land on Lammascote Farm, later 39-49 Tixall Road, 1873-1946; and to premises on Eccleshall High Street, 1773-1902
D6604: documents of title to Moreton Park Farm, The Knowle Farm, Lichfield, and land in Chetwynd (Shropshire), 18th-20th cent.
D7708 consists mainly of records of the firm 19th-20th cent. including partnership agreements, also some additional client material particularly Jervis. (2 boxes)

Several bundles of deeds relating to individual properties may not be fully catalogued but a bundle description appears on this catalogue.
CopyrightAny questions concerning the publication of images of documents in this collection should be directed to the Head of Archives, Staffordshire Record Office, Eastgate Street, Stafford ST16 2 LZ.
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