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The Peyton family originated in Cambridgeshire, and had been prominent there at least since one Sir John Peyton, who bought the manor of Doddington, Cambs., in 1601. The family also held the advowson to the Rectory there (which was one of the wealthiest in the country), and several of its members were Rectors there.

The Peytons were made Baronets in the early 17th century, but the male line of the family died out in 1771. However, the last Baronet's nephew, Henry Dashwood, changed his name to Peyton, and became the first Baronet of the new creation.

Sir Henry Peyton (I), as he should now be styled, continued to live in Cambridgeshire, but his son, Sir Henry (II), the second Baronet, bought a house in Stoke Lyne near Bicester, called Swifts House, which became the family's chief residence.

The title and property descended through Sir Henry (II)'s line, until his grandson, Sir Algernon William, died childless, and they then passed to a cousin Thomas Peyton (a genealogy at the end of this catalogued may serve to help readers understand the family's history).

Sir Thomas Peyton moved to Swift's House as the 5th Baronet, and his son and grandson succeeded him in turn. However, the only son of Sir Algernon Thomas, the 7th Baronet, was killed in World War II, so that when Sir Algernon Thomas died in 1962, the Baronetcy became extinct. However, the family continued to live at Stoke Lyne until at least 1983, when the Manor of Stoke Lyne was sold.

The estate papers of the Peytons were deposited with Oxfordshire Archives in Sept 1994 as Acc. 3884, having been discovered in a house on the Swifts House estate. It is presumed that they had been stored there once, and then forgotten about. It is possible that there may have been other estate papers, but the collection, as it stands, is fairly complete, especially for the Oxfordshire properties.

The Peytons' estate papers have been arranged as follows:

E33/1: Papers relating to individual members of the family, including wills and marriage settlements.

E33/2: Papers relating to family estates, in Hunts., Cambs., and Oxon.

E33/3: Papers found with the above, but apparently unrelated to them.

Catalogued by Robin Darwall-Smith in March 1997.

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