No Joke! in 1833 the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey was of great importance to a teenage computer pioneer, the daughter of the famous poet.
She joined others in a case against the Lord of the Manor of Rochdale, over land rights in Brandwood, West Whitworth.
The former Lord of the Manor was Lord Byron, the poet, his daughter Ada (Countess pf Lovelace) was a brilliant mathematician and programmer of Babbage’s Inference Engine. Ada still had an interest in lands in Brandwood after Dearden had aquired the manor of Rochdale from her father, Lord Byron.
The claim was that land in Brandwood had been enclosed and that this was included in the Manor of Rochdale, The case was judged in favour of the defendants, since they used the Coucher Book of Whalley’s records to show that rights had been granted to their ancestors in medieval times, well before the manor was sold to Lord Byron’s ancestors. So it Brandwood was judged to be outside of the manor of Rochdale’s jurisdiction.
Read more about this fascinating case here from page 80 onwards. Archive material is also held at Touchstones in Rochdale.
Ada Lovelace (Wikipedia entry)
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of King’s Bench, Volume 1
By Sandford Nevile, William Montagu Manning (Sir.), Sir William Montagu Manning, Great Britain. Court of King’s Bench, London 1834.