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Official Papers (1645-1647)
The State Papers Domestic are the main series of records of internal British administration for this period. The volumes printed in abstract here (Charles I dx to dxv) run from July 1645 to December 1647, a period of defeat of royal power by the parliamentary forces. Parliament's victory at Naseby in June 1645 led to the collapse of the Royalist cause and the imprisonment of the king in Carisbrooke Castle towards the close of 1647. During all these events the administration of government continued, largely using the same institutions, leaving similar series of records as before: but executive power is now represented in these books by the Committee of Both Kingdoms (England and Scotland). The State Papers Domestic for these years are largely concerned with the prosecution of hostilities, the movements and supply of troops, and the treatment of 'delinquents'. Chronologically interleaved with the abstracts of the main volumes are details from the series of Proceedings of the Committee of Both Kingdoms, but these are lost for the years 1646 to 1647, brief notes only surviving in the Indexes to the Day Book of Orders. There are also appendices relating to the victualling and disposition of the Navy, taken from the Letters and Papers of the Committee for the Admiralty and the Committe of the Navy, which also include some petitions from sailors, victuallers, officials, or their dependants, seeking redress or relief.
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Official Papers
 (1645-1647)
Besiegers of Colchester (1648)
The siege of Colchester was one of the most severe of the Civil War, and lasted from 14 June to 28 August 1648. Kent and Essex Royalists on their way into Norfolk and Suffolk turned aside into Colchester, hoping to get recruits there. Fairfax pursued from his headquarters in London, and when on 12 June he appeared with 5,000 men they were obliged to make hasty preparations for defence. The town was ill-fitted to stand a siege, and the 4,000 Royalist troops were most of them newly levied and ill-armed, but after a repulse on 14 June 14, Fairfax realized that a long siege was inevitable, and busied himself with raising forts to completely isolate the town. On 2 July the work of circumvallation was finished, and though meeting with fierce resistance, Fairfax gained post after post. Early in August famine added to the misery of the besieged, and the citizens began to clamour for surrender. On 19 August, Norwich, the Royalist leader, asked for terms; negotiations went on for some days, and finally on 28 August, Fairfax occupied the town. Three of the Royalist leaders were shot, and the soldiers were sent to labour in the West Indies, or to enforced military service under the Venetian Republic. The townsmen were made to pay a heavy fine. These accounts list disbursements to workmen digging the fortifications and to artificers, soldiers and officers involved in the siege. The total sum paid was about 1,695.
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Besiegers of Colchester
 (1648)
Massachusetts Bay freemen (1642-1649)
The Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England was established by royal charter in 1629, the area being settled from 1630 onwards; the charter was withdrawn in 1684. The colony at this period did not include Plymouth or Maine. This court book, compiled by the Increase Nowell, company secretary, also includes memoranda concerning land grants and disputes, official appointments, &c. It was edited by Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, and printed by order of the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1853. Months are given in the dating in Puritan fashion, i. e. March is 1mo, April 2mo, &c. The lists of names of those taking oaths as freemen of the colony were printed separately, and are listed here.
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Massachusetts Bay freemen
 (1642-1649)
Colonists and adventurers (1610-1660)
During this period, the English crown issued charters to companies of adventurers and individual proprietors to establish settlements in Acadia (Nova Scotia), Africa, Amazon, Anguilla, Antigua, Association (Tortuga), Bahamas, Barbadoes, Barbuda, Bermudas (Somers Islands), Canada, Cape Gratia de Dios, Carolina, Bay of Darien, Delaware Bay, Deseada, Dominica, Eleuthera, Enegada, Fernando de Noronho, Floria, Fonseca, Grenada, Guadaloupe, Guiana, Guinea, Henrietta, Jamaica, Long Island, Maine, Marigalante, Maryland, Metalina, Montserrat, Narrangansetts Bay, Nevis, New England (New Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Haven), Newfoundland, New Hampshire, New York, Nova Scotia, Providence Island, Quebec, Redendo, Rhode Island, St Bartholomew, St Brandon, St Christopher's, St Eustache, St Lucia, St Martin, St Vincent, Sembrera, Surinam, Tadousac, Tobago, Todosantes, Trinidad and Virginia. The central archive relating to these ventures up to 1688 amounted to 71 volumes of correspondence, plus 109 entry books containing entries of letters sent to the colonies, of charters, commissions and instructions, minutes and proceedings of the companies and proprietaries that in the first instance governed several of the colonies, journals of the Board of Trade, &c. This archive, called the State Papers, Colonial Series, at the Public Record Office, was calendared for the period through to 1660 by W. Noel Sainsbury, and published in 1860. The first few pages include material as early as 1574, but the bulk of the volume is from 1610 to 1660, and that is indexed here.
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Colonists and adventurers
 (1610-1660)
London Marriage Allegations (1611-1660)
London, Essex and part of Hertfordshire lay within the diocese of London. In the later 17th century the individual archdeaconry courts issued marriage licences, but for this period the only surviving material is from the overarching London Consistory court. The main series of marriage allegations from the consistory court was extracted by Colonel Joseph Lemuel Chester, and the text was edited by George J. Armytage and published by the Harleian Society in 1887. A typical later entry will give date; name, address and occupation of groom; name, address and condition of his intended bride, and/or, where she is a spinster, her father's name, address and occupation. Lastly we have the name of the church where the wedding was going to take place. For the later years Colonel Chester merely picked out items that he thought were of interest, and his selections continue as late as 1828, but the bulk of the licences abstracted here are from the 17th century.
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London Marriage Allegations
 (1611-1660)
York Will Calendar (1660-1665)
The diocese of York comprised most of Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire: the York Exchequer court was the ordinary probate jurisdiction for the Yorkshire part of the diocese, but some wills from Nottinghamshire and other parts of the province of York were also proved there. Dr Francis Collins compiled this index to the wills in the York registry proved from 1660 to 1665. The date of the probate precedes the name of the testator: during the period covered by the volume the dates of probate are very rarely given in the registers - they were therefore supplied from the Act Books. However, the Act Book for Ainsty, City and Craven deaneries is missing for this period, and in those cases no date could be given. In a very few instances (marked with an asterisk) in these deaneries in which the date has been supplied it has been taken from the registers. Additional matter from the Act Books is given within square brackets. Testators' names are given in full, surname first; then parish or place of abode, and in some cases occupation; then date of the will itself; and volume and folio number in the probate register. Where a place of burial, or intended burial, was indicated, that is also added, with the word 'bur.', within round brackets. All wills between 1652 and 1660 were proved in London; in practice, many Yorkshire wills had remained unproved at the date that the York Exchequer probate court was restored, and so there is in this list a large number of wills dating back through the 1650s.
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York Will Calendar
 (1660-1665)
Wandsworth Burials (1665)
The ancient parish of Wandsworth in Surrey comprised the single township of Wandsworth, including the hamlets of Garratt, Half Farthing and Summers Town. It lay in the archdeaconry of Surrey of the diocese of Winchester: unfortunately, few bishop's transcripts of Surrey parish registers survive earlier than 1800. Although the original parish registers of Wandsworth doubtless commenced in 1538, the volume(s) before 1603 had been lost by the 19th century. In 1889 a careful transcript by John Traviss Squire of the first three surviving registers was printed, and we have now indexed it year by year. The early burial registers contain little detail - date of burial, and full name. For the burial of children, the father's name is also stated; for the burial of wives, the husband's. Such details as date or cause of death, age, address or occupation are almost never given. The burial registers are considerably more bulky than the baptism registers, because the burying ground was used by Dissenters, who formed a large part of the population. P. indicates death by plague.
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Wandsworth Burials
 (1665)
Inhabitants of Manchester, and travellers (1633-1666)
The constables' accounts of the manor of Manchester in Lancashire from 1633 to 1647 were edited by J. P. Earwaker and published in 1892. The accounts largely consist of details of disbursements by the constables, and as such include payments to paupers and soldiers with passes to help them on their journeys to and from other parts of the country. Earwaker added nine 'important appendices' to the work: 1. Disbursements and Receipts during the Plague of Manchester, 1605-6 and 1606 (from State Papers Domestic in the Public Record Office); 2. List of the Books of Assessment, Charity Money Accounts, &c., now in the Possession of the Corporation; 3. List of the Inhabitants of Manchester in 1648 (pages 181 to 201); 4. List of the Inhabitants of Manchester in 1651 (202-221); 5. Disbursements of the Constables in 1651-2; 6. List of the Inhabitants of Manchester assessed in 1659 (225-246); 7. A Second List of the Inhabitants of Manchester in 1659 (247-260); 8. List of the Inhabitants of Manchester assessed in 1666 (261-283); and 9. List of Uncommon, Obsolete, and Dialect Words to be found in the Preceding Pages.
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Inhabitants of Manchester, and travellers
 (1633-1666)
Allegations for marriages in southern England (1660-1669)
The province or archbishopric of Canterbury covered all England and Wales except for the northern counties in the four dioceses of the archbishopric of York (York, Durham, Chester and Carlisle). Marriage licences were generally issued by the local dioceses, but above them was the jurisdiction of the archbishop, exercised through his vicar-general. Where the prospective bride and groom were from different dioceses it would be expected that they obtain a licence from the archbishop; in practice, the archbishop residing at Lambeth, and the actual offices of the province being in London, which was itself split into myriad ecclesiastical jurisdictions, and spilled into adjoining dioceses, this facility was particularly resorted to by couples from London and the home counties, although there are quite a few entries referring to parties from further afield. The abstracts of the allegations given here usually state name, address (street in London, or parish), age, and condition of bride and groom; and sometimes the name, address and occupation of the friend or relative filing the allegation. Where parental consent was necessary, a mother's or father's name may be given. The ages shown should be treated with caution; ages above 21 tended to be reduced, doubtless for cosmetic reasons; ages under 21 tended to be increased, particularly to avoid requiring parental consent; a simple statement 'aged 21' may merely mean 'of full age' and indicate any age from 21 upwards. These are merely allegations to obtain licences; although nearly all will have resulted in the issuing of the licence, many licences did not then result in marriage.
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Allegations for marriages in southern England
 (1660-1669)
Allegations for marriages in southern England (1669-1679)
The province or archbishopric of Canterbury covered all England and Wales except for the northern counties in the four dioceses of the archbishopric of York (York, Durham, Chester and Carlisle). Marriage licences were generally issued by the local dioceses, but above them was the jurisdiction of the archbishop, exercised through his vicar-general. Where the prospective bride and groom were from different dioceses it would be expected that they obtain a licence from the archbishop; in practice, the archbishop residing at Lambeth, and the actual offices of the province being in London, which was itself split into myriad ecclesiastical jurisdictions, and spilled into adjoining dioceses, this facility was particularly resorted to by couples from London and the home counties, although there are quite a few entries referring to parties from further afield. The abstracts of the allegations given here usually state name, address (street in London, or parish), age, and condition of bride and groom; and sometimes the name, address and occupation of the friend or relative filing the occupation. Where parental consent was necessary, a mother's or father's name may be given. The ages shown should be treated with caution; ages above 21 tended to be reduced, doubtless for cosmetic reasons; ages under 21 tended to be increased, particularly to avoid requiring parental consent; a simple statement 'aged 21' may merely mean 'of full age' and indicate any age from 21 upwards. These are merely allegations to obtain licences; although nearly all will have resulted in the issuing of the licence, many licences did not then result in marriage.
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Allegations for marriages in southern England
 (1669-1679)
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