Records of the Kniveton family of Osmaston, Derbyshire, 1569-1746, the Rev. Edmund Meynott of South Normanton, Derbyshire, 1733-1739, and the Bailey family of Blidworth, Nottinghamshire, 1806-1906

Scope and Content

The collection comprises three main parts:

Estate papers of the Kniveton family at Osmaston including deeds, leases and releases, bonds and agreements, 1569-1746 (MS 333/1-47 and 53).

Records concerning Rev. Edmund Meymott and his daughters including mortgages, agreements and leases, 1733-1772 (MS 333/48-52 and 54).

Records of the Bailey family including deeds, releases, mortgages and wills, 1806-1875 (MS 333/55-63).

The only item in the collection with no clear connection to the Kniveton, Meynott or Bailey families is a lease of Grove House and lands in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire from the 6th Duke of Portland to William Chadburn, September 1906 (MS 333/64).

Despite the uncertainty that surrounds the history of the Bailey and Kniveton families, the collection would be of value to anyone researching either the family, the villages of Osmaston and Blidworth, or the administration of estates and title in the 18th century generally. The collection includes examples of many types of documents that ordinarily appear in estate and family collections, although it represents a small proportion of what would have originally existed.

Administrative / Biographical History

The history of the Kniveton family at Osmaston is poorly documented. A Kniveton family of Mercaston, Derbyshire is better recorded, as a baronetage for that family was created on 29 June 1611 for William Kniveton (d.1632). His son, Sir Gilbert Kniveton of Mercaston, held property in Bradley, Derbyshire which his successor, Sir Andrew Kniveton, sold to the Meynell family. The baronetage became extinct following the death of the fourth baronet, Sir Thomas Kniveton, in about 1706. A different Thomas Kniveton is recorded as being elected coroner for Derbyshire in 1616 and is described as a 'gentleman' who was also coroner for the borough of Derby in 1639. William Knyveton (baronet) was a justice of the peace for Derbyshire in 1594, 1604 and 1624.

White's 1857 directory for Derbyshire affirms the connection between the Kniveton family with the village of Osmaston near Ashbourne, Derbyshire. In 1712, a Thomas Kniveton bequeathed the rent received from his lands for a sermon in Osmaston church to be given on Ascension Day and St. Thomas's day or, by default, to the poor. Matthew Kniveton died in the possession of the manor of Osmundestune [Osmaston] in 1562 and the manor later passed with the Kniveton's Bradley estate to the Meynells, suggesting a link with the Knivetons of Mercaston.

The Meynotts are referred to in several documents in this collection and seem to provide the key to the connection between the Knivetons and the Baileys. Rev. Edmund Meymott was the Rector of South Normanton, Derbyshire in the 1730s who purchased coal mines in the parish from Francis Revell. It seems likely that Meynott also owned land in Osmaston as well as South Normanton. He had at least three daughters, Susanna, Rebecca and Ann. Rebecca and Ann married men from Blidworth.

The history of the Bailey (or 'Baily' as it is spelt in some documents in this collection) family is equally unclear. James Bailey is recorded in White's 1832 directory of Nottinghamshire as a farmer and surveyor living on Pythorn Hill, Blidworth. William Bailey was a gentleman and a land valuer at Halam in 1932 and it is likely that James was his son. The bond in this collection demonstrates that there is certainly a connection between these two men. By 1855, it appears that James was succeeded by John Bailey as the farmer on Pythorn Hill, an occupation and address that he retained until at least 1881. By 1887, no Baileys are recorded as resident at Blidworth.


The collection has been listed chronologically in one numerical sequence.

Access Information

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: Typescript catalogue, 8 pp

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

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


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

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Custodial History

There is almost certainly a connection between the papers of the Kniveton and Bailey families in this collection that were acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts in March 1983 from the same source although the descent of the records and this provenance history remains obscure. The 1772 deed in the collection (MS 333/54) does confirm a link between land in Osmaston and people from Blidworth, with the connection being the Rev. Edmund Meymott and his daughters.