Papers of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland (1709-1762) in the Portland (Welbeck) Collection

Scope and Content

By the Duke's express wish the family archives were divided between The University of Nottingham (political and family correspondence); Nottinghamshire Archives Office (Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Northumberland estate papers); British Library (Harley family papers); Hampshire Record Office (papers relating to the Dukes' Hampshire estate) and the Bodleian Library (Civil War papers of Reverend John Nalson). The entire Portland archive from Welbeck was accepted by the state in lieu of estate duty in 1986.The correspondence and papers reflect Bentinck family affairs and estate business. The running of the Titchfield estate features prominently, as does material relating to the running of the Northumberland estates, which includes correspondence to Robert Harley.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland (1709-1762), succeeded his father while still a minor. He took no active part in political activity, but was content to enjoy a quiet family life, residing mainly at Bulstrode, Buckinghamshire.


The Collection is divided into two series, reflecting its arrangement on acquisition from Welbeck. The first consists of correspondence, primarily to the Duke, and the second series contains miscellaneous papers.

Access Information

Access to the collection is currently restricted whilst the catalogue descriptions are improved. Please contact staff at Manuscripts and Special Collections if you would like to view an item within Pw D. Hard copy catalogues are available on the open shelves in the Reading Room, Kings Meadow Campus.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:Typescript Catalogue, 7 ppAt the National Register of Archives, London:Typescript Catalogue, 7 ppOn the World Wide Web:Catalogue accessible from the website for Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.Catalogue also available online through The National Archives Access to Archives (A2A) web site.

Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Custodial History

These papers constitute part of the Portland (Welbeck) Collection (Pw) and were received from the 7th Duke of Portland in the first deposit from Welbeck Abbey in 1949.

Related Material

Correspondence of Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland: Reference GB 159 Pw E 1-81;Letters to his son, William, 3rd Duke of Portland: Reference GB 159 Pw F 1142-1200

Estate papers for Bulstrode at Buckinghamshire Record Office British Library