Manuscript Lease Indentures on Vellum with Red Wax Seals ([ 1825 - 1826 ])

1825 Viticulture - Wine

Tunbridge Wells Wine Vaults - Indentures

Date: [ 1825 - 1826 ]

Royal Tunbridge Wells, in the County of Kent, 1825-1826. TWO consecutive manuscript lease indentures on vellum, for the historic wine vaults in Royal Tunbridge Wells, the premises ultimately being leased from a wine merchant to an aristocrat, for a term of thirty-six years. These documents are very large, measuring 69 x 54 and 57 x 30 cm, respectively, each with original signatures, clerical annotations to verso, and bearing red wax seals. The wine vault described here dates to the 1700s, and is now the showroom of a fireplace retailer (The modern address for the vaults is 58 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, TN48BB). A revelation of viticulture history in an affluent city whose early years remain little-known, comes forth in these two original and singular manuscript indentures, each signed in the original and bearing remarkable red wax seals. The wine vaults, wine rooms and premises in Tunbridge Wells, built and established in the 1700s, belonged to a London wine merchant named Mr. Thomas Thomas by the 1820s. At the time, Tunbridge Wells was a popular resort town for the wealthy and elite socialites, frequented by royalty. The first document is dated 29 December 1825, Mr. Thomas Thomas of Cooper Row in Crutched-Friars, London, a wine merchant, leasing to Mr. Edward Neal of Tunbridge Wells in Sussex, another wine merchant. The signature and red wax seal of the lessor is found on the bottom fold. Excerpts from the manuscript: "... All those premises consisting of two wine rooms and wine and other vaults and cellars adjoining situate and being in the Road leading from Tonbridge Wells aforesaid to Frant and attached to and connected and communicating with a certain messuage or tenement and other premises now in the possession or occupation of Crawford Esquire..." "... said rooms - vaults cellars and premises are now in the possession of the said Edward Neal and used by him for the purposes of his business. Together with the yard, ways, waters, watercourses, drains, paths, passages, lights, easements, advantages and appurtenances to the said premises..." "... entitled to the freehold and inheritance of the said premises... term of thirty-six years and three-quarters of another year... yearly rent or sum of fifty pounds..." "And moreover shall and will paint in a good and workmanlike manner the outside wood and ironwork... at least twice in oil colors in every seven years of the said term..." End excerpts. The second document, written only one week later, 3 January 1826, subsequently names Mr. Walter Sprott, gentleman, of Tunbridge Wells in Sussex, as the new lessee of the same wine vaults, rooms and premises, still owned by wine merchant Thomas Thomas who is again named herein. The formerly named lessee, Edward Neal, evidently repealed his rights and obligations by selling his lease agreement to Sprott for 200 pounds sterling, and a replacement thirty-six year lease indenture was drawn. This document bears the signatures of both parties, as well two red wax seals, one being an especially nice bust of the aristocrat. [The national archives, England, holds the will of Walter Sprott made in 1844, which would most likely name the heir to his estate and possibly the next successor to the present lease.] Excerpts from the manuscript: "This indenture made the third day of January in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and twenty six Between Edward Neal of Tunbridge Wells in the County of Kent wine merchant of the one part, and Walter Sprott of Tunbridge Wells in the County of Kent gentleman of the other part..." "...the said Thomas Thomas by virtue of every right power and authority in him..." "And whereas the said Walter Sprott hath contracted and agreed with the said Edward Neal for the purchase of the said rooms vaults cellars and premises comprised in the said Indenture of Lease for all the now residue term of the thirty-six years and three quarters of another year" "... in consideration of the sum of Two Hundred Pounds of lawful money current in England to the said Edward Neal" End excerpts. Today, Royal Tunbridge Wells (often shortened to Tunbridge Wells) is a large affluent town in western Kent, England. It is situated about 40 miles south-east of central London by road. By the early nineteenth century Tunbridge Wells had become a place for the well-to-do to visit and make their homes. It became a fashionable resort town again following visits by the Duchess of Kent in the 1820s, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1834 and 1835 The town benefited from a new estate on Mount Pleasant and the building of the Trinity church in 1827. Improvements, gas lighting, and police service attracted new population, totalling 9,100 residents by 1837.

Condition
Both documents in very good, bright, and original condition, made in a neat hand.

£750

Offered by Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts