Papers of Henry Pelham-Clinton, 4th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne (1785-1851), in the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection

Scope and Content

Most of the collection consists of correspondence. This covers the Duke's public activities including, as Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, militia and yeomanry business and the civil unrest in Nottingham in 1816 and 1831. Much of the former is concerned solely with administrative detail.

There is also correspondence covering the Duke's private affairs. Notable correspondents include Stapleton Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere (1773-1865), who wrote from various locations in which he served as a military officer, including France, Spain and India. Subjects include military matters and politics. William Gladstone also features among the correspondents, as it was under the Duke's patronage that Gladstone found a route to Parliament. Much of the subject matter concerns local politics. The correspondence also relates to family issues, notably the collapse of the marriage of his son, the 5th Duke.

Estate business features amongst the papers. There is a large accumulation of correspondence sent to John Gally Knight (1741-1803), a lawyer and the Duke's Guardian, regarding estate matters.

The Duke published several political pamphlets during his lifetime, covering specific issues such as the Maynooth Grant, and more general thoughts on the state of the nation. The collection contains correspondence concerning these publications.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Pelham-Clinton, 4th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne (1785-1851) succeeded his father, Thomas, in 1795. In 1803, during the Peace of Amiens, he ventured on a continental tour, but hostilities were renewed and he was taken prisoner and detained in France for a period of four years. He played little part in national politics but was active in local affairs as Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and Steward of the forest of Sherwood and the park of Folewood. He was a staunch supporter of the traditional establishment of church, country and state, and a vehement opponent of Reform. This stance led to attacks on his property during the Reform Bill riots of 1831. Nottingham Castle was burnt to the ground and his residences at Clumber and also at Portman Square in London had to be fortified against the mob. The duke's opinions were not altered. His political activities had largely been at a local level, but the passage of the Reform Bill lost him patronage and interest in six boroughs.

The duke produced a number of political pamphlets including Letter of the Duke of Newcastle to Lord Kenyon on the Catholic Emancipation Question (1828), An Address to all Classes and Conditions of Englishmen (1832) and Thoughts in Times Past Tested by Subsequent Events (1837).

The 4th Duke took an active interest in estate matters. In adding to the Newcastle estates he acquired Worksop Manor and also the Hafod estate in Wales. The latter purchase was controversial and led to much discussion in parliament.


The letters are arranged in bundles, some by correspondent, some by type eg. private, family, official estate etc.

Conditions Governing Access

Accessible to all readers.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

Old typescript Catalogue, 10 pp

At the National Register of Archives, The National Archives, Kew:

Old typescript Catalogue, 10 pp


Catalogue accessible on the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

Readers are advised that the online catalogue is more comprehensive than the old typescript version, and has been enhanced by personal, place and subject indexing.

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

Photocopies 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 form a sub-fonds of the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection (Ne) and are part of the political papers fonds (Ne C). They were part of the first deposit received from the 9th Duke of Newcastle in 1955 and were accepted in lieu of estate duty in 1981.

Related Material

See the fonds level record for the whole Newcastle collection (Ne), the record describing the Correspondence within the collection (Ne C), and the other constituent parts of the Correspondence section (Ne C 1-35; Ne C 36-2225; Ne C 2226-2229; Ne C 2230-4495; Ne C 4496-4666; Ne C 8779-12842; Ne C 12843-14145; Ne C 14146-14729; Ne C 14730-15406)

A diary of the 4th Duke's last illness (1850-51) is kept at the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh.

British Library

Correspondence with 4th Duke of Portland in Newcastle collection