THE "ESKDALE 24 BOOK"
The farmers of Eskdale relied very heavily on common pasture for their sheep and cattle. One function of the manor court was to regulate the use of such common land, and for the manor of Eskdale with Miterdale a court ruling from 1587 has survived thanks to later copying. Because the court jury which agreed it had 24 members, it is usually known as the "Eskdale 24 Book". The two copies I have been able to find are, unfortunately, very late- one made in 1794 and the other copied from that in June 1840. As the available 1794 version is not the original but a mediocre photocopy [under "Eskdale Commons" in the Whitehaven Record Office local information filing cabinets] most of what follows is from the 1840 transcript [Whitehaven Record Office, in Churchwardens' records, ref. YPR 4/16] checked against the photocopy.
The document consists of:
A set of revised regulations, made in 1659
The introduction to the 1587 award
The 1587 regulations for sheep pasture
Miscellaneous 1587 regulations and judgements
The 1587 regulations for cattle pasture
NB: For their research on common rights, Angus Winchester and Eleanor Straughton of Lancaster University have transcribed another copy of the Twenty-Four Book, found among documents relating to the 1795 lawsuit between the tenants of Spout House and Borrowdale Place (Cumbria Archives DBen/3/761). This version is a copy of one made in 1692, with additions in 1701 (included at the end of the online transcript); it includes some information omitted from the 1794 and 1840 versions, so it's well worth a look.