Portraits, Engravings and Illustrations from the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection, 16th-19th centuries

Scope and Content

The Collection has two main series. The first, in 52 items, consists of prints, engravings and photographs, with other miscellaneous associated papers. The prints and photographs are in general of family members, in some cases providing copies of family portraits which were sold.

The original framed portraits and other works of art, which are now housed in several locations across the University, form the second series. Identified artists include Sir Godfrey Kneller (c 1649-1723), Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757), William Hoare of Bath (1707-1792), Cosmo Alexander (1724-1772) and Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830). The earliest portraits are examples of the English School. Three views of Clumber by William Collins (1788-1847) provide the only landscape scenes in the collection.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Pelham-Clinton Dukes of Newcastle under Lyne built up a large collection of fine art works at their main seat of Clumber, Nottinghamshire. Some of these were inherited, and dated back to the families of the Holles and Cavendish Dukes of Newcastle upon Tyne. Others were purchased both in England and on the Continent. The breadth of the entire collection is evident in a number of catalogues, notably the printed 1872 Catalogue of Pictures forming the Clumber Collection, which identifies the items in the original eighteenth-century collection of the 2nd Duke.

In 1937 most of the old masters in the Collection were disposed of by sale. The Duke retained the majority of those which had a particular family significance, and these and other art works were stored, displayed in a variety of family homes, or lent to a number of institutions. In addition to the framed paintings, the remaining Collection included a series of engravings and other associated illustrative material.


The material has been arranged and listed in two series; the portfolio of engravings and the collection of framed items.

Access Information

Access to the original framed pictures is restricted, but readers can consult surrogate copies in the Manuscripts and Special Collections Reading Room.

Other Finding Aids

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


Catalogue available from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

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Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.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 mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk).

Photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the originals.

Custodial History

In 1990 the Newcastle Trustees made an Appointment of the Newcastle Family Portraits as a Collection to the University of Nottingham, where the family records had been housed since 1955 (see Ne). The bulk of the material was transferred from a variety of locations over the following year, but some items remained by agreement with their current custodians.

These papers form a sub-group of the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection ( Ne).

Related Material

See the fonds level record for the whole Newcastle collection (Ne), the other constituent parts of the Newcastle Collection (Ne A-X; Ne C; Ne 2F; Ne 3; Ne 5; Ne 6), and related collections (NL; NS; NPE; NPC; NN)


An exhibition catalogue includes essays on the portraits and their background; see Joanne Wright (ed), 'The Newcastles of Clumber. A Pictorial and Documentary History of an Important Nottinghamshire Family' (University of Nottingham, 1992).