Documentary evidence

The village of Onley is not mentioned in documents until 1272 (PRO C133/2), and it was presumably included under Barby in all the national taxation records.

A much greater level of detail was extracted by surveying available wills and inventories for Barby cum Onley, during the period 1500-1700, together with any leases, indentures and land-transfer deeds that have survived in the records of the estates of landed gentry; also the records of Patent Rolls and Calendar Rolls, and later records (for instance, of C18th-C19th bankruptcy sales) that appeared in newspapers and gazettes. One or two wills from adjoining villages (notably Barby, Kilsby and Crick) also throw additional light on some of the key yeoman families with long-term involvement at Onley.

This exercise produced a considerable harvest of documentary data for Onley, with 44 documents in all, including:

This relatively large body of documents provided a wealth of detail, about the land itself, the people who owned the land, and the locals who lived on it and worked it.