LEASE OF PREMISES IN BELFAST, 4TH FEBRUARY 1846
Very nice example of a later printed contract. Pre-printed contracts, for whatever reason, enjoyed a great flourishing from about 1800-1840, and then seemed to vanish almost completely, with people going back to hand-written ones. Items from this period are rarely found in the wild today and, when they are, they tend to be in absolutely dreadful condition —the shift to printed contracts seems to have also been accompanied by a shift from vellum to lower-quality paper, causing most of the surviving examples to be in an advanced state of disintegration two centuries later. As can be seen, this one's a little beat-up and the top part has detached completely — but relatively speaking, this is in great shape: it's fresh-looking and there's not too many bad creases in it.
Some points of note:
1. These are, I believe, the only 19th-Century seals I've seen that aren't red in colour.
2. Styling the "T" of "THIS INDENTURE" like a heraldic harp is commonly seen on printed contracts of this period but, like the contracts themselves, this fell into disuse from about the 1840s onwards.
3. Sticking the map of the property in the top corner is another feature typical of the era: this trucked on until the later 19th Century until the fashion changed to having the maps on separate pages.
4. The actual terms of the lease are pretty regular: a 61-year term at £110 p/a, insurance, distraint, etc.
5. There's no mention anywhere of this being registered at the Registry of Deeds: perhaps they were just more relaxed about leases 150 years ago(?)
Anyway this was a difficult scan: the document was co-operative enough but owing to its size I needed to scan it in twelve parts and then piece it all together: I don't think the joins are noticeable but if any make themselves known then there's the reason. There's some blurring around the folds but I'd regard this as inevitable (or not worth taking the time to fix, at any rate). Squarespace caps image dimensions at 2500px wide so below is the image above split into thirds, so one can see this at actually a legible size. This is it at 600dpi re-sized to 50%: at 100% we're close to 15,000px wide which is a little excessive.
 Pre-printed contracts, after their heyday, seem to only have been used by large vendors selling land on standard terms: one sees them employed by the Landed Estates Court, the Belfast Corporation, the Honourable Irish Society, etc.