Grey (Stamford) of Dunham Massey Papers: Collection-level Description

Archive Collection
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 EGR
  • Dates of Creation
      1291-1974
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      The majority of items are written in English , with a substantial number of documents, especially medieval title deeds and manorial court records, written in Latin .
  • Physical Description
      114.5 linear metres; 14 subfonds. Condition: the majority of items are in good physical condition. Individual items and pieces in poor condition are individually identified below. A number of bundles of estate papers were waterlogged during flooding in the cellars at the Stamford Estate Office in Altrincham in December 1993. This resulted in mould-growth, weakening paper structures, bleeding of inks and surface soiling. Pending conservation work, some material is unsuitable for issue because of its condition.
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Scope and Content

The archives from Dunham Massey Hall and the Stamford Estate Office in Altrincham span almost seven hundred years, from 1291, the date of the earliest document, until the death of the 10th Earl of Stamford in 1976. In fact the vast majority of items post-date the inheritance of Dunham Massey by the Grey family in the mid-eighteenth century.

The archive encompasses the full range of material typically found in large family and estate archives: title deeds and settlements; manorial court records; household accounts, inventories and other records; financial and legal papers; the papers of the owners of Dunham Massey and other individuals, both private and official; papers relating to local charities, schools and organizations; and estate papers including rentals and surveys, leases, draft conveyances, account books, correspondence and plans. A list of the fourteen subfonds into which the archive has been arranged is given below.

The archive includes an excellent collection of late-medieval and modern manorial records for the several courts held by the lords of Dunham Massey. While there are few early deeds, there are numerous evidences of title, settlements and marriage agreements from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

Among the personal papers of the Booth family are an account roll of Sir Robert Booth as sheriff of Cheshire, c.1445-50; a detailed compendium of family and estate accounts of Sir George Booth, 1648-51/2; personal correspondence and accounts of George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington, 1693/4-1758; and papers of his daughter Mary, Countess of Stamford, relating to the construction of the Bridgewater Canal, 1758-67.

The personal papers of the 5th and 6th Earls of Stamford contain material relating to the lord lieutenancy of Cheshire, the magistracy and local militia, and the response of the county authorities and elite to the twin threats of a French invasion and social unrest during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. There is a quantity of printed matter relating to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. Among the papers of the 6th Earl of Stamford are colourful letters written by his son while on the Grand Tour in the 1820s. There are also manuscripts of, and papers pertaining to, the naturalist Gilbert White of Selborne (1720-1793) and other members of the White family; papers of the Lumsden family concerning service in the East India Company and colonial life and administration before and during the Indian Mutiny; and papers of the Reverend William Grey, a missionary in Newfoundland, Canada, 1849-53.

The household economy and the relationship between Dunham Massey Hall and its supporting estate during the eighteenth century are revealed in comprehensive household account books. Arguably the most notable feature of the archive, however, is the vast quantity of nineteenth and twentieth century estate papers that were housed at the Altrincham Estate Office. These are remarkable in their completeness for very few, if any, records appear to have been lost or destroyed in the last hundred years. They provide detailed evidence of management policy and processes, and of the physical, financial and legal development of the estate at a time of great economic and social change. They constitute one of the most comprehensive estate collections in Cheshire during this period.

There are, however, notable gaps in the archive. There is little medieval material, other than title deeds and a handful of manorial accounts, surveys and court rolls. No doubt the chequered history of the barony in the hundred years prior to its inheritance by Robert Booth can account for such losses. More surprising perhaps is the paucity of material relating to the Booth family, a mere sixteen boxes, with almost no records relating to their political activities either locally or nationally. Particular reasons for the poor survival rate may be surmised, over and above the customary hazards to archives from fire, water, vermin, poor storage conditions and accidental loss. The almost total absence of material bearing on the Booth family's activities during the civil war period may be the result of the expedient destruction at that time of all potentially incriminating documentary evidence. Other material may have been discarded when the Booth line came to an end and Dunham Massey passed to the Grey family with the death of Mary Countess of Stamford in 1772. While the preponderance of papers from the period after 1700 suggests that major losses had occurred before the eighteenth century, very little of what may be termed private and family correspondence has survived even for the 2nd Earl of Warrington and his daughter; unless such material was lost during the lifetimes of George Booth and Mary Booth (by no means inconceivable, but perhaps unlikely given their characters), the papers must have disappeared during the Grey era. One may conjecture that the Grey family did not feel any great attachment to their predecessors' papers, and that routine papers and Booth family papers of a purely personal nature with no obvious historical importance or continuing relevance to the administration of the Hall and estates perished through neglect or deliberate destruction.

The losses are not confined to the papers of the Booth family, however. Among the papers of the Greys there is very little personal correspondence between members of the immediate family or with those who belonged to their wider social circle, though we know from other sources that they corresponded frequently: the Portland Collection at the University of Nottingham contains over 200 letters from the 5th Earl of Stamford and his wife to her brother, the 3rd Duke of Portland. In this case it is possible that such material was always located at Enville Hall, the Grey family's principal residence, or that it was removed to Enville when Dunham Massey Hall was vacated by the 7th Earl of Stamford during the 1850s.

Administrative / Biographical History

The history of Dunham Massey may conveniently be divided into three periods demarcated by changes in the ownership of the barony. It was held by the Massey family from the time of Domesday until the line died out in c.1342. After a period of one hundred years in which the barony passed through several hands, it was acquired by the Booth family in the early fifteenth century. It remained in their possession until the mid-eighteenth century when it was inherited through marriage by the Grey family, Earls of Stamford. The Greys continued to own Dunham Massey until the death of the 10th and last Earl of Stamford in 1976, when the Hall and remaining estates were bequeathed to the National Trust.

This administrative or biographical history is divided into four sections:

  • The Barony of Dunham Massey, in which the medieval history of the Barony is rehearsed
  • The Booth Family of Dunham Massey
  • The Grey Family, Earls of Stamford
  • The Cheshire and Lancashire Estates of the Booths and Greys

i) The Barony of Dunham Massey

The entry in Domesday records that, "The same Hamo [de Massey] holds Dunham. Alweard held it and was a free man. There is 1 hide paying geld. There is land for 3 ploughs. In demesne is 1 [plough] and 2 oxmen, and 2 villans and 1 bordar, and 1 acre of woodland, and in the city 1 house. In the time of King Edward it was worth 12s, now 10s. It was waste." Hamo also held Puddington, Bowdon, Hale, Bramhall, Ashley, and "Alretunstall" [lost, probably in Timperley]. See Great Domesday (London: Alecto Historical Editions, 1986-92).

Dunham Massey was one of eight baronies in Cheshire held under Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester. According to Sir Peter Leycester, between the 1080s and 1340s the barony passed by linear descent through six generations of Masseys, each named Hamo. However, this would imply an improbably long span between each generation and at least one, if not two, generations may have gone unnoticed in the twelfth century. The third Hamo de Massey (by Leycester's reckoning), who died in the early thirteenth century, founded Birkenhead Priory, and his grandson gave the advowson of Bowdon parish church to the priory in 1278. The sixth and last Hamo married Isabel, daughter of Humphrey de Beauchamp. She died on their wedding night, however, and Hamo later married her sister, Alice, who had already born him an illegitimate son, Hamo. The sixth Sir Hamo de Massey had four sisters (not daughters, as stated by Sir Peter Leycester): Cecily, wife of John Fitton of Bollin, Isabel, wife of Hugh Dutton, Alice, wife of Hamo de Hilond, and another sister who married Thomas Lathom. Source: George Ormerod, The history of the county palatine and city of Chester, 2nd edition revised by Thomas Helsby, 3 vols (London: George Routledge, 1882), vol. 1, pp. 520-33.

Philip Morgan has documented the decline of the barony in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries: Philip Morgan, War and society in medieval Cheshire 1277-1403, Chetham Society, 3rd ser., vol. 34, 1987, pp. 84-5. In 1288 an inquisition found that the fifth Hamo de Massey held five knight's fees, although the barony had already been diminished by the establishment of cadet branches of the family, such as the Masseys of Sale and Masseys of Tatton, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Hamo de Massey had a notably military career, but by the early fourteenth century the income from the barony could no longer meet the rising costs of service in Edward I's campaigns in Wales. Much of the estate was held by free tenants and Massey was dependant on a modest fixed income. In these circumstances he was forced to seek the patronage of men such as Oliver de Ingham and Thomas of Lancaster.

Oliver de Ingham, senescal of Gascony, was a prominent royal servant whose fortunes were closely tied to those of his masters. He served as justiciar of Chester 1322-5 and raised a force (which included Sir Hamo de Massey) against the rebel Earl of Lancaster. He later supported the deposition of Edward II and served on the regency council of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer. In 1328 he was rewarded by being reappointed as justiciar for life, but was ousted when Edward III assumed personal rule in 1330. Ingham was later rehabilitated and pardoned the arrears arising out of his terms as justiciar: Morgan, pp. 50-2; P.H.W. Booth, The financial administration of the lordship and county of Chester 1272-1377, Chetham Society, 3rd ser., vol. 28, 1981, pp. 60-1 and 153 n. 19.

The descent of the barony after the death of the sixth and last Hamo de Massey is uncertain, the sources contradictory. Ormerod and Helsby argue that Sir Hamo divided his estate into moieties, giving one moiety to Sir Oliver de Ingham (while reserving a life interest to himself and his wife Joan), and the other moiety to his son, Hamo the bastard, who is thought to have survived his father. The evidence for this division appears in inquisitions which show that the barony was worth £100 at the time of Hamo's death, while the value was subsequently put at only about £50. However, the sale of the reversionary interest to Ingham for 1000 marks in 1321 refers not to a moiety of the barony, but to all Massey's estates (EGR1/2/1/1).

The coheirs of Hamo de Massey (his sisters, their spouses and heirs) disputed his power of alienation, either because of the existence of a prior entail, or because of a previous grant to his sisters. They entered the property during the absence abroad of Sir Oliver de Ingham, but were ejected. Following Sir Oliver's death, however, they successfully sued for a writ of novel disseisin. Henry Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster, then bought out all their interests in the Ingham moiety. On 31 March 1455 the Duke was given licence to enfeoff Sir Roger Lestrange of Knockin co. Salop and master Richard de Longnorle (or Longmore) in the former Massey lands, with the power for Lestrange and Longnorle to regrant a life interest to the Duke, with remainder to themselves and the heirs of Sir Roger (Ormerod, vol. 1, p. 527; EGR1/1/1/2). The Lestrange family first acquired an interest in the Lancaster lands by the marriage of Alice Lacy, widow of Earl Thomas of Lancaster, to Ebulo Lestrange in 1322. Roger Lestrange had been compelled to return to the Duke the property in Cheshire that his family had acquired as a result of the marriage, on condition that he received it back after the Duke's death. Source: P.H.W. Booth and A.D. Carr, Account of master John de Burnham the younger, Chamberlain of Chester, of the revenues of the counties of Chester and Flint, Michaelmas 1361 to Michaelmas 1362, The Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 125, 1991, p. 154.

The Duke of Lancaster died in March 1361 and Sir Roger Lestrange was in possession by January 1362 when he received licence to keep the parks of Dunham, Sinderland and Ringey as extensively emparked as they were at the Duke's death, and to have warren in his demesne lands in the manor. Source: Register of Edward the Black Prince preserved in the Public Record Office, part III (Palatinate of Chester), A.D. 1351-1365 (London: H.M.S.O., 1932), pp. 438-9. In 1378 Sir Roger obtained a letters patent confirming his title to the barony, or rather to a moiety of it (EGR1/1/1/2).

As for the bastard Hamo's moiety, this is "almost wholly unaccounted for", in Ormerod's words. Indeed there is no reference to it whatsoever among the archives from Dunham Massey. Hamo the bastard is said to have entered into the moiety, and to have died seised without issue while in Gascony.Hamo served with the Black Prince's Cheshire forces in Gascony in 1355-6. At the beginning of 1356 his retinue had a complement of 63 archers, though by May they had been depleted to less than a quarter of that number: see Morgan, pp. 110-2. It is not unlikely that during the reign of Richard II the Lestranges had successfully petitioned out and became seised of the bastard's moiety: in 1400-1 the Lestrange estate was valued at 247 marks. Sir Roger Lestrange died in c.1382, and was succeeded by his son Sir John, 6th Lord of Knockin, who died in 1396, and John's son Sir Richard, who died in 1450. In 1427 Sir Richard and his wife conceded by fine the manors of Dunham Massey, Hale and Altrincham to Richard de Radcliffe and others, who six years later enfeoffed Sir Robert Booth, Sir Thomas Stanley and William Chauntrell (EGR1/1/1/6-7).

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the barony of Dunham Massey encompassed several manors on the Wirral (EGR1/1/1/2; EGR1/1/1/4). The manor of Bidston and the townships of Bidston, Moreton, Saughall Massie and Claughton were first noticed in the time of the third Hamo de Massey, who gave to John Massey the lands in Moreton and housebote and haybote in Bidston Wood, in exchange for lands in Puddington (Ormerod, vol. 2, pp. 446-7). The sixth Hamo de Massey obtained Kelsall and Backford from his feoffee to use, Adam de Macclesfield, in 1314-15. Kelsall passed to the Dones family before the reign of Edward IV (Ormerod, vol. 2, pp. 335-6). The Wirral properties became separated from the rest of the barony in the fifteenth century. In 1437 Sir Robert Booth released the manors of Bidston, Moreton, Kelsall and Saughall, and the advowson of Birkenhead Priory, which were once held by Hamo de Massey (EGR1/1/1/13a).

ii) The Booth Family of Dunham Massey

The Booth family held Dunham Massey for over three hundred years, from the early fifteenth century until the mid eighteenth century, when they were succeeded by the Greys, Earls of Stamford.

The Booth family had acquired the manor of Barton on Irwell in Lancashire towards the end of the thirteenth century, by the marriage of John del Booth with Loretta, daughter and heir of Agnes Barton and her husband John Grelley. Source: Victoria History of the Counties of England, Victoria history of the county of Lancaster, ed. William Farrer and J. Brownbill, 8 vols (London: 1906-14), vol. 4, pp. 365-6. John del Booth was succeeded by his son Robert, who was followed by his son Thomas del Booth, who died in 1368. Thomas was succeeded in turn by his son John Booth, who held the estate until his death in 1422 (for the will of John Booth see EGR1/8/1/1). John had five sons: Sir Thomas, the heir; Sir Robert, who established the Booths of Dunham Massey line; Roger, an ancestor of the Booths of Mollington; and William and Lawrence, who both became archbishops of York. The Booth family produced a remarkable number of churchmen in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, including two bishops, of Exeter and Hereford, and numerous archdeacons and rectors, besides the two archbishops of York. See Ernest Axon, 'The family of Bothe (Booth) and the church in the 15th and 16th centuries', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 53 (1938), pp. 32-82.

The barony and manor of Dunham Massey came into the possession of the Booth family through Sir Robert Booth (d 1460), second son of John Booth of Barton, although the basis of his claim is a matter of some doubt. Sir Robert had married Douce, daughter and co-heiress of Sir William Venables of Bollin, in 1409, and through her subsequently inherited a moiety of the Venables estates in Wilmslow parish. However, Ormerod, followed by Helsby, questions whether this was the basis for his claim to Dunham Massey. Whatever the origin of his interest, Robert Booth appears to have claimed a moiety of the barony and later purchased the other moiety and some of the lands of this moiety held by the Stanleys and Chauntrells. In 1433 Sir Robert entered into an agreement for the division of the manors of Dunham Massey, Hale and Altrincham, and lands and rents therein, between himself and Sir Thomas Stanley and William Chauntrell (EGR1/1/1/8). In 1437 Stanley and Chauntrell granted their interests in the above manors to Booth, in return for his releasing to them the manors on the Wirral that had formerly been components of the barony (EGR1/1/1/13). See George Ormerod, The history of the county palatine and city of Chester, 2nd edition revised by Thomas Helsby, 3 vols (London: George Routledge, 1882), vol. 1, pp. 520-33.

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Booths seem to have married predominantly into gentry families from Cheshire and south Lancashire, such as Venables of Bollin, Dutton of Dutton, Ashton of Ashton under Lyne, Butler of Bewsey near Warrington, Trafford of Trafford, Warburton of Arley, and Carrington of Carrington. By a series of judicious marriages to local heiresses the Booth family acquired several distinct estates in the two counties. In the early fifteenth century, by marriage to Douce Venables, Robert Booth had inherited a moiety of the Venables family's estates in Wilmslow parish and in Thornton le Moors in west Cheshire. George Booth (c.1491-1531) inherited a share of the Ashton family's estates in Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire, and in Stayley, Cheshire, through the marriage of Margaret Ashton to his father William Booth. Before the end of the sixteenth century the Booths had acquired the whole manor of Ashton (V.C.H. Lancs, vol. 4, p. 342). Finally in the late sixteenth century the manor of Carrington, and lands in Carrington, Partington and Ashton upon Mersey were acquired by the marriage of George Booth (1566-1652) to Jane, only daughter and heiress of John Carrington of Carrington (Ormerod, vol. 1, pp. 542-4).

In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries the Booths' place among the Cheshire elite was recognised and reinforced by their numerous offices. Sir William Booth (1540-1579) served as sheriff of Cheshire 1570-1, and was returned as a member for Cheshire in 1571. His son, Sir George Booth (1566-1652), served as sheriff of Cheshire twice, in 1596-7 and 1621-2, and as sheriff of Lancashire in 1622-3, for the Booth family's influence extended into that county as major landowners in the Ashton under Lyne area. In addition Sir George was a deputy lieutenant of Cheshire for many years.

Other evidence confirming the Booth family's position within the Cheshire elite has been collected by Coward. In the muster of 1569 the Booths furnished one demi-lance, and in 1578 supplied one demi-lance and one light horse. In 1588-9 the family were able to support a loan of £25 to the Crown, a figure comparable with that provided by the Venables, Warburton and Dutton families. Source: B. Coward, 'The lieutenancy of Lancashire and Cheshire in the 16th and early 17th centuries', Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 119 (1967), pp. 42-5.

Sir George Booth (1566-1652) was a minor when his father died and was made a ward of the Crown. He was granted livery to enter into his estates in 1587 (EGR1/8/2/1), and thereafter devoted his energies to enlarging and improving the estate and Dunham Massey Hall, recording his achievements in a lengthy account roll in 1648 (EGR3/3/3/2). He was knighted in 1597 and created a baronet in 1611 (EGR3/3/1/2). His son and heir presumptive William Booth died in 1636, and in the following year Sir George and others were granted the wardship of his grandson George Booth (EGR1/8/5/2).

By the 1620s Sir George was one of the most influential figures in Cheshire society. He and Sir Richard Wilbraham led the group of Cheshire baronets against the three local families, the Cholmondeleys, Needhams and Breretons of Brereton, who had acquired Irish peerages. Source: Victoria History of the Counties of England, A history of the county of Chester, ed. B.E. Harris and A.T. Thacker (London: Institute of Historical Research, 1979- , in progress), vol. 2, p. 107.

During the civil wars 'old' Sir George Booth played a prominent part in the conflicts in Cheshire. While his instinct was for moderation and reconciliation, when the centre party broke up in the autumn of 1642 in the face of increasing violence and polarization, Booth cast his lot with the Parliamentarians: see J.S. Morrill, Cheshire 1630-1660: county government and society during the English revolution (Oxford: 1974), pp. 65-9. However, in 1643 he played a leading role in the attempts to draw up a Treaty of Pacification. Sir George Booth was later called "of absolute power with the Presbyterians", but while he was a "good church Puritan", there is no evidence to show that before 1643 Booth sought to overthrow the episcopacy (Morrill, pp. 270-1). He never supported the execution of Charles I or the abolition of the monarchy, and became increasingly disillusioned with Cromwell's rule. Within Cheshire Sir George Booth and others of the pre-war 'baronets' party led the moderate opposition to the hard-line government of the county in the elections of 1646, and his grandson George Booth (1622-1684) was returned as member for Cheshire.

George Booth (1622-1684) had a remarkable political career. Like his grandfather he actively supported the Parliamentary cause in the civil wars, raising forces in 1642-3 (Morrill, p. 80). Elected to Parliament in 1646, he was expelled in Pride's Purge, leaving Brereton as Cheshire's sole representative. Thereafter he retired from public life, refusing to sit or act as a Justice or serve on any committee, although he continued to be appointed to them. He was returned to both Cromwell's Parliaments, where he was a thorn in the side of the Government. According to Morrill "the predominant thread in his career was anti-militarism", yet he refused overtures from the exiled Court (Morrill, pp. 301-2).

George Booth's rising in 1659 in support of the restoration is well documented: see R.N. Dore, 'The Cheshire rising of 1659', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 69 (1959), pp. 43-66; James R. Jones, 'Booth's rising of 1659', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 39 no. 2 (1957), pp. 416-43; Morrill, pp. 300-33.

What was intended to be part of a general rebellion throughout the country became an isolated uprising whose political objectives were ill-defined and which was doomed to failure by lack of experienced military leadership and external support. The rising ended in defeat for the rebels at Winnington Bridge, and a fugitive George Booth was ignominiously arrested at Newport Pagnell.

George Booth was imprisoned in the Tower, but was released in 1660 and in the following year was rewarded by Charles II with the title Baron Delamer of Dunham Massey (EGR3/4/1/4). He seems to have spent the rest of his life in retirement at Dunham Massey, although he was forced by indebtedness to sell three hundred tenements on the estate. The Booth family had escaped the sequestrations imposed on many Royalist families during the Civil Wars, and George Booth had inherited an estate free from debt in 1652, but many years later his grandson had cause to complain that the costs of his imprisonment and involvement in the Restoration and the expenses of court life had impoverished the family (EGR3/6/2/2/1 & /4).

Henry Booth (1651-1694), 1st Earl of Warrington, was an uncompromising Presbyterian and Exclusionist, coming nearer than anyone to rejecting an hereditary monarchy. As a result he was removed from the Commission of the Peace and stripped of the office of Custos Rotulorum for Cheshire. In 1683 he was implicated in the Rye House Plot and imprisoned in the Tower. Released the following year, he was rearrested in 1685 on the grounds of his overt support for Monmouth's rebellion; it was claimed at his trial that the Duke and his supporters had been entertained at Dunham Massey, yet Booth was acquitted of high treason.

Henry Booth retired to Dunham Massey, living quietly until the Revolution when he raised forces in support of William of Orange. He was rewarded by the new regime with offices in the Government and within Cheshire, an annuity of £2000 and the title of Earl of Warrington. He later withdrew from the national arena, though his son George, 2nd Earl of Warrington, claimed that his father's involvement in the Revolution and his life at Court had ruined the family financially.

George Booth (1675-1758), 2nd Earl of Warrington, inherited an estate crippled by debts that are estimated to have amounted to perhaps £50,000 in 1688. In the name of financial probity he sacrificed the family's political influence, both national and local, which he believed had been bought at too high a price; throughout his life "Warrington's policy had been generally consistent. He had avoided government and local service in order to concentrate on restoring the family's shattered finances.": J.V. Beckett and Clyve Jones, 'Financial improvidence and political independence in the early eighteenth century: George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675-1758)', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 65 no. 1 (1982), p. 33.

An indication of George Booth's financial plight was his marriage to Mary Oldbury, the daughter of a wealthy London merchant, who brought him a fortune estimated at £40,000. Such alliances between the aristocracy and merchant classes were rare and were usually forced on the former by financial necessity (Beckett and Jones, p. 22).

The marriage was not a happy one, however, and it failed to produce a son to continue the Booth line at Dunham Massey. Instead the 2nd Earl of Warrington appears to have focused all his affection and concern on his only daughter, Mary (1704-1772), who was trained to assume responsibility for the management of the estates. In 1736 Mary Booth married Harry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford, the two families already being associated by the marriage in 1644 of George Booth (1622-1684), 1st Baron Delamer, to Lady Elizabeth Grey, daughter of the 1st Earl of Stamford.

Under Lord Warrington's will Dunham Massey and the Booth estates were vested in two trustees, George and Thomas Hunt, on behalf of Mary during her lifetime (as a woman she could not own the property herself of course), subject to a proviso that her husband should have no power or control over them. The estates were entailed after Mary's death to her son, George Harry Grey (1737-1819): see the will of the 2nd Earl of Warrington (EGR1/8/12/3). Whatever the legal position, Mary Countess of Stamford was the de facto owner of the Booth estates and took a keen personal interest in their development. Her involvement in the minutiae of estate management is witnessed by her many notes on the estates' finances, and her negotiations over the construction of the Bridgewater Canal. She may truly be said to have been the last of the Booths, and her papers are therefore included with those of the Booth family. On her death in 1772 Dunham Massey passed to her son, the 5th Earl of Stamford.

iii) The Grey Family, Earls of Stamford

The Grey family, who acquired Dunham Massey in the mid eighteenth century, boasted a pedigree far more illustrious than that of their predecessors, the Booths. They claimed a descent from Rollo, or Fulbert, chamberlain to Robert Duke of Normandy, and came over to England with William the Conqueror. Anchitel de Grey was recorded in Domesday as holding divers lands in Oxfordshire. In 1199 his great great grandson Henry de Grey obtained a grant of the manor of Thurrock in Essex. From him were descended the Greys of Codnor, Ruthin, Sandiacre and Wilton and the Earls of Stamford.

Much of the biographical information in this account was derived from entries for the Grey family under their various titles in G[eorge] E[dward] C[okayne], The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom extant, extinct or dormant, revised edition by Vicary Gibbs and others, 13 vols in 14 (London: St Catherine Press, 1910-59), vol. 4, pp. 416-30 (Marquisate of Dorset), vol. 5, pp. 340-63 (Barony of Ferrers of Groby), vol. 6, pp. 135-6 (Barony of Grey of Groby), vol. 12 pt. II, pp. 217-29 (Earldom of Stamford); an outline pedigree of the branches of the Grey family descended from Henry de Grey is given in vol. 6, between pp. 128-9; see also the note on the family's ancestry, pp. 133-5. A history and pedigree of the Grey family is given in John Nichols, The history and antiquities of the county of Leicester, 4 vols (London: Nichols, Son & Bentley, 1795-1811), vol. 3 pt. 2, pp. 661-84. See also Sir Bernard Burke, A genealogical and heraldic history of the peerage and baronetage, the Privy Council, knightage and companionage, 77th edition (London: Harrison & Sons, 1915), pp. 1874-6.

Sir Edward Grey, younger son of Reginald, 3rd Baron Grey of Ruthin, married Elizabeth, grand-daughter and heiress of William, Lord Ferrers of Groby. On the latter's death in 1444 Sir Edward inherited Bradgate Park in Leicestershire, which had been held by the Ferrers family as part of their manor of Groby since the 1270s. In 1446 Sir Edward was summoned to Parliament as Lord Ferrers of Groby. He died on 18 December 1457. His son Sir John Grey married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Widevile (Woodville), 1st Earl Rivers, and was killed at the battle of St Albans in 1460. Four years later his widow married Edward IV.

Thomas Grey, son of Sir John, was created Earl of Huntingdon in 1471, but he resigned the title shortly afterwards and in 1475 was created Marquis of Dorset. He succeeded as Baron Ferrers of Groby in 1483 upon the death of his grandmother Elizabeth, widow of Sir Edward Grey. Attainted of treason, he fled to Brittany in 1483/4, but was restored by Henry VII in November 1485. He married twice, firstly (without issue) Anne, only child of Thomas Holand, Duke of Exeter, and secondly Cicely, daughter of William Bonville, Lord Harington, sue iure Baroness Harington and Baroness Bonville. He effected considerable improvements to his estate, enlarging Bradgate Park and within it erecting an imposing new residence, Bradgate House, though this was not completed during his lifetime. An account of Bradgate House is given in Joan Stevenson and Anthony Squires, Bradgate Park: childhood home of Lady Jane Grey (Newtown Linford: Kairos Press, 1994).

Upon Thomas Grey's death in August 1501 his third son Thomas succeeded as Marquis of Dorset and Lord Ferrers of Groby, becoming Lord Harington and Bonville at the death of his mother in June 1530. He died on 10 October 1530 and was buried in the church of Astley in Warwickshire.

His son Henry Grey succeeded as 3rd Marquis of Dorset, 9th Baron Ferrers of Groby, 9th Baron Harington and 4th Baron Bonville, and on 11 October 1551 was created Duke of Suffolk, following his second marriage to Frances, daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, in May 1533. Though pardoned for his part in the ill-fated attempt to install his daughter Lady Jane Grey as Queen, Henry Grey's involvement in the subsequent rebellion by Wyatt led to his execution on 23 February 1553/4 and the forfeiture of all his honours. The Dukedom of Suffolk and Marquisate of Dorset became extinct, while the Baronies of Ferrers of Groby, Harington and Bonville fell into abeyance. Bradgate Hall and Park passed to the Crown.

Henry's younger brother Thomas was also attainted for treason and beheaded on 27 April 1555, leaving the fourth son John, of Pirgo in Essex, as head of the family (the third son Leonard had been executed in 1521). John too had been implicated in the rebellion, but through his wife's influence he obtained a pardon and was later granted leases of Bradgate Hall and Park and other former Grey lands. From him were descended the Earls of Stamford.

John Grey died on 19 November 1564 and was succeeded by his son Henry, who was knighted in 1587 and on 21 July 1603 was created Baron Grey of Groby. He sold his estates in Essex and moved the family residence to Bradgate. The 1st Baron died on 26 July 1614 and, having been predeceased by his son Sir John Grey in 1611, was succeeded by his grandson Henry Grey (c.1599-1673), 2nd Baron Grey of Groby. In 1620 Henry married Anne, youngest daughter and coheir of William Cecil, 3rd Earl of Exeter, inheriting through her the castle, borough and manor of Stamford in Lincolnshire, and on 26 March 1628 he was created Earl of Stamford. He actively participated in the Civil Wars, serving as commander of Parliamentary forces in Devon and Cornwall, but was defeated by Sir Ralph Hopton at Stratton in May 1643 and, after being besieged at Exeter for three months, surrendered to Prince Maurice. He later served as MP for Leicestershire, 1654-5.

Henry Grey's eldest son Thomas (1622-1657), styled Lord Grey of Groby, also fought for Parliament and was one of the regicide judges, his signature appearing on the King's death warrant, but he was later charged with plotting against Cromwell and was imprisoned in Windsor Castle for a period. He married Dorothy, daughter of Edward Bourchier, 4th Earl of Bath, and they had an only son Thomas, who succeeded as 2nd Earl of Stamford on his grandfather's death in 1673. Suspected of involvement in the Rye House Plot and Monmouth's Rebellion, Thomas Grey was imprisoned in the Tower in 1685 but received a pardon in the following April. With his cousin Henry Booth he supported the Revolution of 1688 and was rewarded by the new regime with several offices. He married twice. His first wife, Elizabeth Harvey, brought a fortune of £100,000, but the marriage was not a happy one and ended in separation. Lord Stamford remarried after Elizabeth's death in 1687, but he died childless on 31 January 1719/20, whereupon the Earldom and family estates, now much reduced in value, passed to his cousin Harry Grey (1685-1739), son of John Grey by his wife Katherine, daughter of Edward Ward, 7th Lord Dudley.

On 6 July 1704 Harry Grey married Dorothy, daughter of Nathan Wrighte, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. When the 3rd Earl died in 1739 he was succeeded by his eldest surviving son Harry (1715-1768), who three years earlier had married Mary, daughter and heiress of Sir George Booth (1675-1758), 2nd Earl of Warrington. The union of the two houses was marked by the naming of their eldest son as George Harry, the first of four successive George Harry Greys, but it has already been noted that the association of the families began with the marriage in 1644 of Mary's great grandfather, Sir George Booth (1622-1684), 1st Baron Delamer, to Lady Elizabeth Grey, daughter of the 1st Earl of Stamford.

The Earls of Stamford held substantial estates in the Midland counties of Staffordshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, and they owned smaller properties in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

It has already been noted that the Leicestershire estate, centred on Bradgate Park, was acquired by the Grey family in the mid-fifteenth century, but Bradgate Hall itself was abandoned after the death of the 2nd Earl of Stamford in 1720, and by 1800 the house was a ruin. However, the Earls of Stamford retained the park for sporting purposes and the extensive Leicestershire estates were managed by their agents. In 1854 the 7th Earl of Stamford returned to Bradgate, building a new family seat, Bradgate House, on the site of the former steward's residence outside the park. Source: Stevenson and Squires, Bradgate Park, pp. 46-7.

The manor of Enville near Stourbridge in Staffordshire had been purchased by Sir Edward Grey in the early sixteenth century and it descended to his son Thomas and grandson John, who both served as MPs for Staffordshire. Under settlements made by John the estates passed to a younger son of a distant cousin, Ambrose Grey, who died in 1636 to be succeeded by his son Henry. Henry died in 1687, bequeathing his estates to John Grey, a younger son of his cousin Henry, 1st Earl of Stamford, and upon John's death in 1709 Enville was inherited by the 3rd Earl of Stamford. Enville became the principal residence of the Earls of Stamford: the 4th Earl laid out an elaborate park there, while the 5th Earl employed the Liverpool architect John Hope to enlarge the house in the 1770s. Sources: Rev Stebbing Shaw, The history and antiquities of Staffordshire, 2 vols (London: J. Robson, 1798 & 1801), vol. 2, pp. 268-74; Victoria History of the Counties of England, A history of the county of Stafford, vol. 20, ed. M.W. Greenslade (London: Institute of Historical Research, 1984), pp. 91-118.

In 1746-7 the 4th Earl of Stamford obtained an Act for the sale of part of his settled estate. This included the manor of Stamford in Lincolnshire and lands therein; property in St Martin Stamford Baron and Bainton in Northamptonshire; the manor of Long Itchington in Warwickshire and lands therein; the manors of Breaston, Alton, Stanton by Dale and Wilsthorpe in Derbyshire; and lands in Ockbrook and Sandiacre in Derbyshire (EGR3/7/3/4).

The Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire properties had been acquired by the marriage of Hon Anchitel Grey, second son of the 1st Earl of Stamford, to Anne, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Henry Willoughby of Risley co. Derbs bart, who died in 1605. The Derbyshire estate at Stanton by Dale was sold to Earl Stanhope in 1778 (EGR12/7/18), while the Nottinghamshire properties at Old and New Awsworth, Newthorpe and North and South Collingham appear to have been disposed of at some date before 1873, for they are not recorded in the returns of land ownership in that year. Then the Earl of Stamford was reported to have owned the following lands, with gross rental values: Cheshire, 8,612 a., £16,000 13s; Lancashire, 5,231 a., £17,465 4s; Leicestershire, 9,012 a., £12,876 15s; Shropshire, 606 a., £508 4s; Staffordshire, 7,339 a., £11,367 1s; Warwickshire, 1 a., £1; Worcestershire, 68 a., £130; and Yorkshire (West Riding), 93 a., £46 16s. The total area of the estates was 30,966 acres, with a rental value of £58,395 13s: Local Government Board, Return of owners of land in England and Wales, exclusive of the Metropolis, 1873 (London: 1875).

Mary Countess of Stamford divided her residence between Dunham Massey, Enville and the town-house in London, generally residing in Cheshire between July and late November or early December each year: see the household account books for Dunham Massey Hall (EGR7/1) and cellar books (EGR7/9). This pattern was continued by her son and grandson, the 5th and 6th Earls of Stamford, who both sought to uphold the family's influence in Cheshire. George Harry Grey (1737-1819) and George Harry Grey (1765-1845) had conventional aristocratic careers, going on the Grand Tour, serving as MPs and successive Lords Lieutenant of Cheshire, involving themselves in the administration of the family estates and in county business, and indulging their passion for sports. Fuller biographical information on each is given in the introductions to their papers (EGR4/1 and EGR4/2).

The titles of Baron Delamer of Dunham Massey and Earl of Warrington (originally created in 1661 and 1694 and becoming extinct in 1770 and 1758 respectively) were revived for the 5th Earl of Stamford on 22 April 1796. When the 6th Earl of Stamford died in 1845, his son George Harry Grey (1802-1835), Lord Grey of Groby, having predeceased him, the titles passed to his grandson, George Harry Grey (1827-1883). An heir to vast estates in Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Lancashire, the young earl had married Elizabeth (Bessie) Billage, the daughter of a shoemaker or college servant, while he was a student at Cambridge. She died without issue in 1854 and he afterwards married Katherine Cocks, an equestrienne in a London circus act.

In the 1850s the 7th Earl quit Dunham Massey in favour of Enville Hall and for the remainder of the nineteenth century Dunham Massey Hall was either left empty or leased to tenants. It was alleged that the move was precipitated by the local community's disapproval of the Earl's marriage: see H.J. Leech, Tales and sketches of old Altrincham and Bowdon (Altrincham: 1880), p. 16. More practical considerations, however, may have influenced the decision. It is true that the arrival of the railways lessened the inconvenience of travelling between Dunham Massey and Enville, but by mid-nineteenth century standards the Cheshire residence was old-fashioned and lacking in modern conveniences. The lingering influence of Mary Countess of Stamford, which may have persuaded the 5th and 6th Earls of Stamford to maintain a personal presence in Cheshire, however burdensome, held no sway over the 7th Earl, who was born half a century after her death. The 7th Earl's interests appear to have focused on Staffordshire and more particularly Leicestershire, where he was able to indulge his passion for hunting, serving as Master of the Quorn Hunt. Meanwhile the management of the Cheshire and Lancashire estates was entrusted to professional agents who ran them on a fully commercial basis. There was therefore no necessity for the Earl to involve himself personally in these properties.

The 7th Earl of Stamford bequeathed all his estates to his widow Katherine for life, subject to an annual charge of £8,000 for the successor to the title, who after Katherine's death was to have Dunham Massey Hall and the Cheshire Estates in strict entail. The Leicestershire Estates were to pass to his niece, Mrs Arthur Duncombe. The Staffordshire Estates, including Enville Hall, were left to a grandniece of the Countess of Stamford & Warrington, Catherine Sarah, wife of Sir Henry Foley Lambert bart. The Lancashire Estates (chiefly in Ashton under Lyne) were to be jointly held by Mrs Duncombe and Lady Lambert. The Leicestershire Estates were sold in the 1920s and Bradgate Park was donated to the City and County of Leicester as a public amenity. Enville Hall was severely damaged by fire in November 1904 but was rebuilt with money provided under an insurance policy. In 1996 the Hall and the Staffordshire Estates were owned by Mrs Eileen Bissill, grand-daughter of Catherine Sarah Foley Lambert, while the Lancashire Estates were jointly owned by Mrs Bissill and Richard Arthur de Yarburgh-Bateson, 6th Baron Deramore, grandson of Mrs Duncombe. By 2005 ownership of both estates had passed to Mrs Bissill's daughter, Mrs Diana Williams.

During the widowhood of the Countess of Stamford & Warrington, from 1883 to 1905, the Stamford estates were held by the trustees appointed under the will of the 7th Earl of Stamford. The trustees were: Arthur Frederick Payne of Lowndes Square London esq (1883-95/6); Robert Cocks of Dunham Massey esq, agent of the Cheshire Estate (1883-96); Henry Hall esq, agent at the Ashton under Lyne Estate Office (1883-1905); Sir Thomas Wright of Stoneygate in Leicestershire (1896-1905); and Harry Alfred Payne of Enville esq (1896-1905).

When the Earl of Stamford and Warrington died childless in 1883 the Earldom of Warrington and Barony of Delamer of Dunham Massey became extinct, but the other titles passed to his second cousin once removed, the Reverend Harry Grey (1812-1890), grandson of John Grey, younger son of the 4th Earl of Stamford. The 8th Earl was living in South Africa and had an illegitimate son by a coloured woman, whom he subsequently married. Under English law the son was barred from inheriting the titles, and in the celebrated Stamford Peerage Case in 1892 the House of Lords upheld the claim of William Grey (1850-1910), nephew of the 8th Earl and great great grandson of the 4th Earl of Stamford. William Grey was born in Newfoundland, the son of an Anglican minister, the Reverend William Grey (1819-1872), and his wife Harriet, who was descended from the Whites of Selborne. The family returned to England when William was three years old and he was later educated at Bradfield School in Reading and Exeter College Oxford. He then embarked on a teaching career, first at Mill Hill School (1876-7), and later in Barbados (1877-83), but was recalled to England on the death of the 7th Earl of Stamford. Thereafter he assumed a life of charitable works and public affairs. On 18 April 1895 he married Elizabeth (Penelope) daughter of the Reverend Charles Theobald, and they had two children, Roger (1896-1976) and Jane (1899-1991). An uncritical biography of the 9th Earl was published anonymously by his widow under the title William Earl of Stamford, 1850-1910 (London: printed for private circulation, n.d.).

Thus upon the death of the Dowager Countess of Stamford and Warrington in 1905, the 9th Earl of Stamford inherited the Cheshire Estates and with his wife immediately set about the restoration of Dunham Massey Hall (see EGR7/20). He died only five years later, however, and was succeeded by his son, the 10th and last Earl of Stamford. Roger Grey combined a keen interest in international affairs (he was an ardent supporter of the League of Nations, and later the United Nations) with an obsessive attachment to his family's history. His life was devoted to preserving Dunham Massey Hall and restoring to it the collections of silver, furniture and pictures that had been dispersed after the 7th Earl's departure in the mid nineteenth century. He never married, and on his death in 1976 the Hall and remaining estates were bequeathed to the National Trust.

iv) The Cheshire and Lancashire Estates of the Booths and Greys

The history of the barony of Dunham Massey has already been rehearsed down to its acquisition by the Booth family in the early fifteenth century. In the next two centuries, by marriage and purchase, the Booths extended their holdings from the core property in Bowdon parish to encompass several large estates that spread across north Cheshire and south Lancashire. The history and extent of each estate will be described briefly in the order of their acquisition.

Bowdon parish. Bowdon parish formed the nucleus of the barony of Dunham Massey throughout its history. It has already been noted that at the time of Domesday Hamo de Massey held the townships of Dunham Massey, Bowdon, Hale and Ashley. A moiety of Bowdon was given by the fifth Hamo de Massey to the Priory of Birkenhead in the late thirteenth century. Following the Priory's dissolution its lands were vested in the Bishop of Chester and in 1589 they were leased to George Booth (1566-1652) as part of the rectory of Bowdon. The rectorial glebe continued to be held on leases for lives by the Booth family and later the Earls of Stamford until the late nineteenth century (EGR1/1/6; EGR14/72; Ormerod, vol. 1, pp. 512-3).

A moiety of the manor of Hale became vested in the Chauntrell family of Bache, from whom it passed to the Crewes of Crewe. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Crewes and the Booths waged a protracted dispute over their respective claims to the manor. Finally in 1808 Lord Crewe sold his interest in the manor to the 5th Earl of Stamford. Sources: EGR3/3/3/1; EGR3/7/1/4/3; EGR14/1/22; EGR14/77; Ormerod, vol. 1, p. 554.

The Booth family also held a fourth part of the township of Timperley, the manor being an appendage of the barony of Dunham Massey. They possessed only a single tenement in Ashley, however, the manor having been granted in the thirteenth century to the Dutton family of Cheadle, a branch of which settled in Ashley and assumed that name (Ormerod, vol. 1, pp. 546-8, 555-7).

A rental from 1499 names 38 tenants at will in Dunham, 7 in Timperley, 3 in Hale, 8 in Altrincham and 6 in Bollington (EGR11/1/1). Between 1595 and 1635 Sir George Booth (1566-1652) purchased several estates in Bollington, Dunham Massey, Ashley, Bowdon, Altrincham and Hale, which added 41 tenants to the rent roll (EGR3/3/3/2 § 1). The comprehensive rental of 1701 records 76 tenants in Dunham Massey, 24 in Bollington, 17 in Bowdon, 13 in Timperley, 22 in Hale, 1 in Ashley and 62 in Altrincham (EGR11/1/6). There were also 10 tenants on the Bowdon glebe estate that was leased from the Bishop of Chester (EGR11/1/8). According to the tithe apportionment schedule in 1846 the Earl of Stamford held 8,704 out of a total of 18,458 acres in Bowdon parish (EGR14/78/2/1).

Wilmslow. The Fitton family anciently held the lordship of Fulshaw, later termed the lordship of Bollin (or "le Bolyn"), which constituted Wilmslow parish. Hamo Fitton died in c.1374 without male heirs, and his estates subsequently passed to the Venables family by the marriage of Joan, sister of Hamo Fitton, to Richard de Venables. On the death of Richard de Venables, grandson of Richard and the last male heir of the Venables family, the manors and estates were divided between his two sisters and coheiresses, Alice, wife of Sir Edmund Trafford of Trafford in Lancashire, and Douce, wife of Sir Robert Booth (d 1460) of Dunham Massey. Sources: J.P. Earwaker, East Cheshire: past and present, 2 vols (London: privately printed, 1877 & 1880), vol. 1, pp. 41-168; Ormerod, vol. 3, pp. 586-603.

The partition deed of 1421 records that the Trafford moiety of the lordship of Bollin comprised Chorley, Hough in the township of Bollin Fee, Morley in Pownall Fee township, and sundry rents and services. The Booth moiety of the lordship of Bollin consisted of Styal in Pownall Fee, Dean Row in Bollin Fee, Bollin mills, the manor of Fallibroome, and lands in Norcliffe in Pownall Fee (EGR1/3/1/2). The Wilmslow estates remained in the hands of the Booth family and their successors the Greys until they were sold in the 1850s, the largest portion, together with the manorial rights, being purchased by John Clarke Prescott esq.

Thornton le Moors. Along with Wilmslow the manor of Thornton le Moors and lands therein were inherited by the Venables family from Hamo Fitton (died c.1374) and were the subject of the subsequent partition between Sir Robert Booth and Sir Edmund Trafford. Thornton had been inherited by Hamo Fitton through his marriage to Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Peter de Thornton (Ormerod, vol. 2, pp. 17-19). The partition deed of 1421 specified that Robert Booth was to hold the manor of Thornton and the advowson of Thornton le Moors church, while the lands in Thornton were apportioned between Booth and Trafford (EGR1/3/1/2). The Trafford moiety was subsequently purchased by the Booths.

In 1499 the Booth family held fourteen tenements in Thornton and Elton (EGR11/1/1). The rental of 1701 lists twenty-seven tenements in Thornton, Elton, Kingsley, Onston and "Brin" [Bryn in Cuddington] (EGR11/1/6). Thornton le Moors descended to George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington, who sold the estate to his younger brother, Hon Langham Booth (1684-1724), for £9,641 in 1705/6: see John Rylands Library, Cornwall-Legh Muniments no. 853. In his will Langham bequeathed Thornton to his brother Hon Henry Booth (1687-1726) in tail male, with successive remainders in tail male to the 2nd Earl of Warrington and to George Legh of High Legh esq. For default of male issue, after Langham's death in 1724 Thornton descended to Legh, although George Booth claimed that the property was encumbered; the case went to Chancery and was settled in the House of Lords in 1733: see EGR14/1/25; Cornwall-Legh Muniments nos. 842-4.

Ashton under Lyne. The manor of Ashton under Lyne in Lancashire was held by the Ashton family until 1514, when Sir Thomas Ashton died without a direct male heir. The manor and associated lands in the parishes of Ashton under Lyne, Manchester and Prestwich with Oldham, together with estates in Stayley in Cheshire and Saddleworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, were partitioned among Sir Thomas's daughters, Elizabeth Ashton and Alice, wife of Richard Hoghton, and George Booth (c.1491-1531), son of another daughter, Margaret, who had been the wife of Sir William Booth (1473-1519). Upon Elizabeth's death in 1553 the manor and lands were divided equally between the Booths and Hoghtons (V.C.H. Lancs, vol. 4, p. 342). In November 1605 Sir George Booth (1566-1652) purchased from Sir Richard Hoghton the other moiety of the manor, the advowson of Ashton under Lyne parish church, and over 120 tenements for £5,500 (EGR1/8/2/7-8; EGR3/3/3/2 § 1).

The rental of 1701 records that George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington, held 109 tenements in the town of Ashton, and a further 217 tenements in other townships and hamlets within the extensive parish (EGR11/1/6). The Ashton estate was administered separately from the Cheshire estates of the Booths and Greys, first from Ashton Old Hall and after 1856 from the Ashton Estate Office. Consequently few records relating to the estate have survived among the archives from Dunham Massey and the Altrincham Estate Office. In 1996 the Ashton estate was jointly owned by Mrs Eileen Bissill, grand-daughter of Catherine Sarah Foley Lambert, and Richard Arthur de Yarburgh-Bateson, 6th Baron Deramore, grandson of Mrs Arthur Duncombe. The estate was administered by Cordingleys Chartered Surveyors of Ashton under Lyne, who retained custody of the estate papers. By 2005 ownership of the estate had passed to Mrs Bissill's daughter, Mrs Diana Williams.

Stayley and Matley. The manors of Stayley and Matley in north-east Cheshire passed from the Ashton family to the Booths along with the moiety of Ashton under Lyne in the mid-sixteenth century. Stayley had been held by the Stayley, or Stavelegh, family from the thirteenth century until Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Ralph Stavelegh, married Thomas, son and heir of John de Ashton. John and Elizabeth settled the manor and lands on themselves in 1470-1. Matley was acquired by the Stayleys from the Matley, or Mattelegh, family (Ormerod, vol. 3, pp. 865-9; Earwaker, vol. 2, pp. 155-6, 165-7). The inquisition post mortem of Sir William Booth (1540-1579) records that he held 300 acres of land, 40 acres of meadow, one watermill, and one fulling mill in Stayley, together with two tenements in the neighbouring townships of Godley and Matley (EGR1/8/1/17). In 1701 the 2nd Earl of Warrington held 57 tenements in Stayley and 12 in Matley (EGR11/1/6). Stayley remained in the ownership of the Earls of Stamford until the late nineteenth century if not later, the estate being administered from the Ashton Estate Office. In 1880 the Earl of Stamford was reported to have owned most of the land in Matley, and to have held a court baron for the manor.

Carrington. The manors of Carrington and Hattersley, and lands in Carrington, Partington, Ashton upon Mersey, Bollington, Thelwall, Hattersley, Mottram in Longdendale, Godley, Hollingworth and Stockport, were held by the Carringtons of Carrington until the death of John Carrington esq without a male heir in 1577/8. The property was acquired by the Booth family through the marriage of George Booth (1566-1652) to Jane, only daughter and heiress of John Carrington (Ormerod, vol. 1, pp. 542-4; EGR1/2). The inquisition post mortem of John Carrington of Carrington (EGR1/2/2/8) in 1554 found that the manor of Carrington and one-third of a moiety of the manor of Ashton upon Mersey, and all lands and tenements in Carrington, Ashton upon Mersey and Partington were held by him from William Booth as of his manor of Dunham Massey, through two parts of a knight's fee. Lands in Bollington were also held of the manor of Dunham Massey for the service of one quarter of a knight's fee. Lands in Hattersley were held from Edward Warren in socage; lands in Mottram in Longdendale were held from the Crown as of the manor of Mottram in socage; lands in Godley were held from Hamo Massey of Sale in socage; lands in Woolley within Hollingworth were held from John Hollenworth in socage; and lands in Thelwall were held from the Crown as of the manor of Halton in socage.

Carrington fell within the jurisdiction of the court leet held for the barony of Dunham Massey, and a separate court baron was held for the manor. Tenants of the Booths and Greys in part of Partington also owed suit of court at the court baron. The rental of 1701 records that there were 39 tenements in Carrington and 15 in Partington (EGR11/1/6).

Bollington. The third Hamo de Massey gave a moiety of Bollington to Geoffrey Dutton of Cheadle in the early thirteenth century. This moiety passed to the Carrington family via the Radcliffes, and thus was inherited by Sir George Booth (1566-1652) through his marriage to Jane Carrington. George Booth had previously purchased five messuages in Bollington, part of the other moiety, from James Brampton of Legbourne in Lincolnshire, in 1602-3 (EGR1/1/3/19 & /21). The rental of 1701 records that the 2nd Earl of Warrington held 24 tenements in Bollington; in 1750 he purchased a further 6 tenements from Peter Legh of Norbury Booths (EGR11/1/6; EGR14/1/20).

Ashton upon Mersey and Sale. The inquisition post mortem of John Carrington of Carrington esq records that on his death in 1554 he held one-third of a moiety of the mesne manor of Ashton upon Mersey from William Booth, as of his manor of Dunham Massey (EGR1/2/2/8). Ormerod speculates that the other two-thirds of the moiety may have been settled so as not to come to the attention of the inquisition. The other moiety was held by the Ashtons, or Asshetons, and later the Breretons of Handforth, from the Boydell family, as of their manor of Doddleston.

The Carrington moiety of the mesne lordship of Ashton upon Mersey either fell into disuse or was sold to the Breretons of Handforth, lords of the other moiety, for in inquisitions dating from the late sixteenth century this family are stated to have held the whole of the mesne manor. In 1674 the Breretons sold the entire manor to Sir Joshua Allen, ancestor of John Lord Viscount Allen who sold the manor to George Booth (1675-1758), 2nd Earl of Warrington, in 1749 (EGR14/1/13). The Booth family already held lands in the township, presumably inherited from the Carringtons. The property is noticed in deeds and fines from the late sixteenth century onwards and the rental of 1701 records that there were 15 tenements there and 13 in Sale (EGR11/1/6). The tenements in Sale had been purchased in 1604 by Sir George Booth (1566-1652) from Thomas Holt of Whittleswick in Lancashire and his son Randal (EGR1/1/3/22). In 1824 the 6th Earl of Stamford was reported to hold 138 acres in Ashton upon Mersey and 144 in Sale (EGR4/2/7/8/3).

Ashton upon Mersey fell within the jurisdiction of the court leet held for the barony of Dunham Massey, and a separate court baron was held for the manor. Leasehold tenants of the Earls of Stamford in Sale also did suit and service at the court baron.

Hattersley and Hollingworth. Hattersley was another of the Carrington estates that were inherited by Sir George Booth (1566-1652) through his marriage to Jane, daughter and heiress of John Carrington (EGR1/2). The origin of the Carringtons' interest in the township is not entirely clear, although as early as 1357/8 we find Sir William Carrington and his wife conveying their estates in Stockport, Hattersley and Mottram in Longdendale to a feoffee to use (EGR1/2/1/5-6). In 1611 Sir George Booth purchased additional lands, occupied by three tenants, for £200 (EGR3/3/3/2 § 1). The rental of 1701 records that there were 46 tenements in Hattersley (EGR11/1/6). In 1824 the 6th Earl of Stamford held 62 tenements comprising 521 acres in the township (EGR4/2/7/8). A court baron was held for the manor of Hattersley.

The Carrington family also held property at Woolley in the neighbouring township of Hollingworth. The inquisition post mortem of Andrew Carrington esq made in 1520-1 records that he held tenements in Woolley in socage, worth 40s (Ormerod, vol. 3, p. 872). The property subsequently passed to the Booths and the Greys. In 1834 the estate was valued at £10,663 and it may have been sold in that year (EGR4/2/10/26/3).

Warrington. The manor of Warrington, which had formerly been held by the Boteler family, was purchased by Thomas Ireland in 1597. On 18 May 1629 his son, Thomas Ireland of Bewsey, joined with George and Robert Ireland in conveying the manors of Warrington, Orford and Arpley, together with various lands and rents, to William Booth (d 1636), son of Sir George Booth bart (EGR11/5/3 f. 112r). Sir George Booth's account roll records that the purchase price was £7,300, and that there were two hundred tenements, with an annual rental value of £400 (EGR3/3/3/2 § 1). In 1701 there were 217 tenements in the town (EGR11/1/6). Under the will of George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington, the manor and barony of Warrington were devised to trustees for sale, for the speedy discharge of debts and legacies (EGR1/8/12/3). They were duly sold to Thomas Blackburne esq of Orford in c.1762 for about £9,000, the deeds relating to the property being surrendered to the purchaser (EGR3/7/1/8/5).

Millington. The Booth family had a small estate in Millington. The inquisition post mortem of Sir William Booth (1540-1579) records that he held two messuages and sixteen acres of land in Millington and Sale (EGR1/8/1/17). These properties are noticed in a valor of c.1615-20, but were evidently sold later as they are not recorded in the 1701 rental (EGR11/1/5). The manor of Millington and most of the estates therein were held by Sir John Thorold until his death in 1815 whereupon they were sold by his younger children (Ormerod, vol. 1, pp. 447-8). The manorial rights and the bulk of the estates were purchased by William Egerton of Tatton, but in 1817 George Harry Grey (1737-1819), 6th Earl of Stamford, joined with his son Lord Grey in buying six farms, two cottages and a parcel of land for £13,660 (EGR4/2/7/2). In 1834 a further £4,214 was expended in the purchase of additional property in the township (EGR4/2/10/26/3).

The management of the Cheshire and Lancashire estates of the Booth and Grey families is described in detail within the Administrative History of EGR14 below.

Arrangement

Throughout the process of arranging and listing the archive the twin principles of provenance and original order have been respected wherever possible. The form of arrangement was determined by painstaking examination of the archives themselves, and was not based on any external classification scheme. For discussions on the arrangement of estate archives, see Philippa White and others, 'The arrangement of estate archives', Journal of the Society of Archivists, vol. 13 no. 1 (1992), pp. 1-8; and Michael Cook, 'The arrangement of estate archives: a commentary in the light of the MAD2 description standard', Journal of the Society of Archivists, vol. 14 no. 2 (1993), pp. 117-24.

Reconstruction of an original order proved to be somewhat problematical, because the archive has suffered considerable disturbance, especially during the twentieth century; this has largely effaced evidence of any earlier arrangements. The material from Dunham Massey Hall was particularly disrupted, with numerous drawers, shelves and trunks containing a jumble of apparently unrelated items. The original locations of material from the Hall have been noted wherever possible, though they were unfortunately not recorded in the 1978 deposit. A scheme of arrangement was adopted for the title deeds from Dunham Massey Hall in 1714, if not earlier, and the deed-bundles from the Altrincham Estate Office were also numbered. Otherwise there is no evidence of any original order above the series-level. The numbering scheme imposed by Dr Guppy appears to have been more-or-less arbitrary, not founded on any organic arrangement of the archives. It was therefore rejected as the basis for any arrangement, though the Guppy numbers have been recorded as former references.

Generally, records from the Altrincham Estate Office have been kept separate from the Hall records, in accordance with the principle of provenance. Thus there are separate subfonds (the main subdivisions of the archive) for estate papers from Dunham Massey Hall (EGR11) and estate papers from the Altrincham Estate Office (EGR14). The one exception is that the very few manorial records from the Hall have been incorporated with the vast majority from the Estate Office. Similarly the papers of the Booth family and the personal papers of the Greys form two distinct subfonds, and other subfonds comprise the records of two further families with separate provenances.

Whenever possible series and items have been attributed to individual members of the Booth and Grey families, if there is evidence that they originally created the records or kept them in their personal possession. The criteria for attribution are discussed further in the descriptions of subfonds EGR3 and EGR4 below. This form of arrangement was considered to be more sympathetic to the principle of original order than the common practice of bringing together like materials, such as legal papers, financial records and official papers into artificial subfonds. However, such an arrangement was obviously inappropriate for title deeds, manorial records and the records produced by the household and estate staff, for which separate subfonds have been created. Furthermore, some series and bundles contained material that could be attributed to more than one individual. It therefore seemed more appropriate to assign them to activity-based subfonds, such as EGR8 and EGR9, which comprise charity records, rather than subfonds EGR3 and EGR4.

Below the series-level, items (and pieces within bundle-items) have generally been arranged chronologically unless there was clear evidence of some other form of original order.

There follows a list of the fourteen subfonds into which the archive has been arranged. The contents of each are described more fully in the subfonds descriptions.

  • EGR1: Title Deeds and Settlements, 1291-1773
  • EGR2: Manorial Records, 1347-1920
  • EGR3: Papers of the Booth Family, 1442/3-1772
  • EGR4: Personal Papers of the Grey Family, 1758-1893
  • EGR5: Papers of the White Family, 1719-1901
  • EGR6: Papers of the Lumsden Family, 1807-c.1900
  • EGR7: Household Records, 1742/3-1912
  • EGR8: Records relating to Thomas Walton's Bequest, 1740-1891
  • EGR9: Records relating to Lord Warrington's Charity, 1768-1928
  • EGR10: Papers relating to the Rectory of Bowdon and to Bowdon Parish Church, 1714-1919
  • EGR11: Papers from Dunham Massey Hall relating to the Cheshire and Lancashire Estates, ?1370s-1914
  • EGR12: Papers from Dunham Massey Hall relating to Other Grey Estates, 1658/9-1816
  • EGR13: Miscellaneous Papers from Dunham Massey Hall, 1681-1910s
  • EGR14: Estate Papers from the Altrincham Estate Office, 1593/4-1974

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to any accredited reader. The National Trust has placed restrictions on access to the papers of members of the Grey family who were alive during the twentieth century. Prior written permission must be obtained from The National Trust North West Regional Office, Stamford Estates Office, 18 Market Street, Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 1PHF, in order to consult the papers of William Grey (1850-1910), 9th Earl of Stamford, his wife Penelope, Countess of Stamford, and Roger Grey (1896-1976), 10th Earl of Stamford. These papers have been excluded from the present catalogue.

Some items are in a fragile condition, and access to them is at the discretion of the Library staff: see the individual catalogue descriptions below.

Acquisition Information

The Stamford Papers were deposited at the John Rylands Library by the National Trust. The earliest deposit from Dunham Massey Hall was made on 12 September 1978. Eight further deposits were received, on 29 June 1990, 25 July 1990, 24 January 1992, 27 March 1992, 8 May 1992, 25 February 1993, 23 November 1994 and 15 May 1995. Archives from the Stamford Estates Office in Altrincham were separately deposited in April 1981 and subsequently on 14 November 1990, 31 January 1991, 21 February 1991, 24 January 1992, 23 November 1994, 5 May 1995, 23 June 1995 and 4 October 1995.

Other Finding Aids

The first edition of this catalogue was issued in seventeen unpublished volumes, 1995-6. Copies are available for consultation within the Library. There are also unpublished box lists of the papers of William Grey, 9th Earl of Stamford, Penelope, Countess of Stamford, and Roger Grey, 10th Earl of Stamford.

Separated Material

The National Trust has retained custody of some categories of material at Dunham Massey Hall, namely photographs, sketch books, works of art, illuminated pedigrees, pamphlets and other printed matter, recipe books, and some items relating to the Hall that are required for reference purposes. A large quantity of post-war estate records also remain at the Stamford Estates Office in Altrincham.

The 10th Earl of Stamford was a trustee of the formerly independent John Rylands Library and during his lifetime he made several generous donations of archives and manuscripts. These comprised:

  • Over 450 leases for lives in Dean Row and Styal within Wilmslow parish, 1675/6-1829: Rylands Charters 3850-4310.
  • Three rentals for Styal and Dean Row, 1777-1815.
  • Jury lists and presentments for the manor and fee of Bollin cum Norcliffe (Wilmslow), 1647-66: Rylands Charter 4311.
  • Six suit rolls for Bollin cum Norcliffe, 1786-1832: Rylands Charters 4312-7.
  • Bound volume containing 233 autograph letters from Rev John Mulso to Rev Gilbert White, 1744-90: English MS 911.
  • Bound volume containing genealogical tables of the Booth family, compiled by William Henry Booth in 1954: English MS 1181.
  • 35 autograph letters from Gilbert White to various members of his family, 1758-83: English MS 1306.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Some items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library and from the National Trust for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, The John Rylands University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

Very little is known about the custodial history of the archives from Dunham Massey prior to 1666, when Sir Peter Leycester inspected the muniments at the Hall. Several documents are cited in his Antiquities (Ormerod, vol. 1, pp. 520-6). Evidence of the rather casual record-keeping practices of Henry Booth (1651-1694), 1st Earl of Warrington, is contained in the papers relating to the dispute over his will, the validity of which was disputed by his son George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington: There stood on the Floor in a corner of his closet [elsewhere called the Evidence Closet] a large old Deal Box with a broken Lidd without Lock or Key to it, which seem'd to be placed there purely for a Receptacle for cast-away papers, being full of old useless dusty papers confusedly tumbled together, it being his common practice, when he found no further use for a paper, to throw it carelessly away, without further thought of it, or considering whether needfull to destroy it. (see EGR3/6/2/1/6). George Booth had a point to make, that the will lay among this multitude of old papers and thus had probably been discarded, but his graphic description of his father's cavalier attitude towards archives was corroborated by another witness (see EGR3/6/2/1/4).

The 2nd Earl of Warrington's determination to improve and impose order on his inheritance affected the archives no less than any other aspect of the estate administration. This is illustrated by the magnificent folio volume containing detailed abstracts of all the deeds then extant, which was compiled at his behest in 1714 (see EGR11/5/3). With its ornate rococco title page, extended calendars and exhaustive indices it was not only a working reference tool but also an embodiment of family pride.

At some date during the second half of the nineteenth century, following the 7th Earl of Stamford's vacation of Dunham Massey Hall in the 1850s, many of the archives from Dunham Massey were transferred to the Old Hall in Ashton under Lyne. Subsequently they were moved to the muniment room at the Stamford Estate Office in Ashton. In 1909 the Secretary to the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts visited the Estate Office and inspected three boxes of deeds and manuscripts and several loose documents on shelves in the muniment room. His unpublished report includes numerous items now to be found in subfonds EGR1, EGR2, EGR3 and EGR7.

Upon his coming of age Roger Grey (1896-1976), 10th Earl of Stamford, sought the return of the Old Cheshire Documents to Dunham Massey Hall. He commissioned Dr Henry Guppy of the John Rylands Library to carry out a survey of the collection at Ashton, in the course of which Guppy numbered all volumes, bundles and loose papers in a single sequence from 1 to 211. After the resolution of several legal and insurance difficulties the documents were returned to Dunham Massey in June 1922. It should be noted that while the vast majority of (pre-twentieth century) archives from Dunham Massey Hall are recorded in Guppy's inventory, the estate and manorial records appear to have remained at the Altrincham Estate Office throughout.

It was Lord Stamford's wish that the bulk of the archives from Dunham Massey should eventually be transferred to the Library, and following his death in 1976 the National Trust have fulfilled his intentions by depositing material on long-term loan.

Accruals

It is anticipated that additions will be made to the archive on an occasional basis. These will be incorporated in the catalogue.

Related Material

Enville Hall, Staffordshire: papers from Enville Hall remain in the custody of the present owner, Mrs Diana Williams. They contain material relating to the Grey family's estates in Cheshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire, as well as personal papers of the 5th and 6th Earls of Stamford.

Cordingleys Chartered Surveyors, Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire: extensive records of the Ashton under Lyne estate of the Earls of Stamford. Over two thousand nineteenth- and twentieth-century estate plans, as well as estate vouchers, agents' diaries and deeds, have been deposited by Cordingleys in Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre, Tameside Central Library, Old Street, Ashton under Lyne, OL6 7SG.

Leicestershire Record Office: deeds and papers relating mainly to the Leicestershire (Groby, Bradgate, Breedon) estates but including estate accounts for Cheshire, Lancashire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire, 1883-1905, and for Leicestershire and Lancashire only, 1905-24.

There are further references to particular related materials in the subfonds- and other component-level descriptions below.

Bibliography

i) Works relating to Dunham Massey and to the Booth and Grey families

Axon, Ernest, 'The family of Bothe (Booth) and the church in the 15th and 16th centuries', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 53 (1938), pp. 32-82.

Bamford, Frank, Mansions and men of Dunham Massey: from errant earl to red dean (Altrincham: privately printed, 1991).

Beckett, J.V., and Jones, Clyve, 'Financial improvidence and political independence in the early eighteenth century: George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675-1758)', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 65 no. 1 (1982), pp. 8-35.

Booth, Henry, The works of the Right Honourable Henry late L. Delamer, and Earl of Warrington, containing his lordships advice to his children, several speeches in Parliament, etc., with many other occasional discourses on the affairs of the two last reigns: being original manuscripts written with his lordships own hand (London: J. Lawrence and J. Dunton, 1694).

Hardy, John, and Jackson-Stops, Gervase, 'The Earl of Warrington and the "Age of Walnut"', Apollo, July 1978, pp. 12-23.

Harris, John, 'A bird's-eye view of Dunham Massey', Apollo, July 1978, pp. 4-11.

Hayward, J.F., 'The Earl of Warrington's Plate', Apollo, July 1978, pp. 32-9.

Jones, James R., 'Booth's rising of 1659', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 39 no. 2 (1957), pp. 416-43.

Littler, Joyce, The protector of Dunham Massey: Dunham Massey estate in the 18th century, a study of the management carried out by George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (Altrincham: Joyce Littler, 1993).

Matthews, Stephen, '"Your Dutiful Son" - the Newfoundland letters of the Revd William Grey Report and transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and Art, vol. 136 (2004), pp. 149-64.

National Trust, Dunham Massey (London: National Trust, 1986).

National Trust, Dunham Massey: an illustrated souvenir (London: National Trust, 1990).

National Trust, Dunham Massey, Cheshire (London: National Trust, 2000).

Stevenson, Joan, and Squires, Anthony, Bradgate Park: childhood home of Lady Jane Grey (Newtown Linford: Kairos Press, 1994).

Swarbrick, John, 'Dunham Massey Hall', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 42 (1925), pp. 53-79.

William Earl of Stamford, 1850-1910 (London: Christophers, n.d.).

ii) General Works

Aikin, John, A description of the country from thirty to forty miles round Manchester (London: John Stockdale, 1795).

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Baker, J.H., An introduction to English legal history, 2nd edition (London: Butterworths, 1979).

Baker, J.H., Manual of law French, 2nd edition (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1990).

Beamont, William, Annals of the lords of Warrington and Bewsey from 1587 to 1833 (Manchester: Charles Simms, 1873).

Beck, Joan, Tudor Cheshire, vol. 7 of A history of Cheshire, ed. J.J. Bagley (Chester: Cheshire Community Council, 1969).

Bell, H.E., An introduction to the history and records of the Court of Wards & Liveries (Cambridge: University Press, 1953).

Blomefield, Francis, and Parkin, Rev. Charles, An essay towards a topographical history of the county of Norfolk, 5 vols (Fersfield, Norwich & Lymm: W. Whittingham, 1739-75).

Booth, P.W.H., The financial administration of the lordship and county of Chester, 1272-1377, Chetham Society, 3rd series, vol. 28 (1981).

Booth, P.W.H., and Carr, A.D. (eds), Account of master John de Burnham the younger, chamberlain of Chester, of the revenues of the counties of Chester and Flint, Michaelmas 1361 to Michaelmas 1362, Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 125 (1991).

Bowdon History Society, Bowdon and Dunham Massey (Stroud: Tempus, 1999).

Bowman, Winifred M., England in Ashton under Lyne (Altrincham: John Sherratt & Son, 1960).

Broughton, Heather E., Family and estate records in Leicestershire Record Office, 2nd edition (1991).

Burke, J. Bernard, A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the landed gentry of Great Britain & Ireland for 1853, 3 vols (London: Henry Colburn, 1853).

Burke, Sir Bernard, A genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, 2 vols (London: Harrison & Sons, 1898).

Burke, Sir Bernard, A genealogical and heraldic history of the peerage and baronetage, the Privy Council, knightage and companionage, 77th edition (London: Harrison & Sons, 1915).

Census Office, Census of Great Britain, 1851. Index to the names of the parishes, townships, and places in the population tables of Great Britain (London: H.M.S.O., 1852).

Chaloner, W.H., `Salt in Cheshire, 1600-1870', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 71 (1961), pp. 58-74.

Charitable Trusts Committee, Hulme's Charity: report of the Charitable Trusts Committee on the above charity (Manchester: 1868).

Cheney, C.R., Handbook of dates for students of English history (London: Royal Historical Society, 1991).

Clayton, D.J., The administration of the county palatine of Chester 1442-1485, Chetham Society, 3rd series, vol. 35 (1990).

Clemesha, H.W. (ed.), `The new court book of the manor of Bramhall (1632-1657)', Chetham Miscellanies vol. IV, Chetham Society, new series, vol. 80 (1921), pp. 3-35.

Cook, Michael, `The arrangement of estate archives: a commentary in the light of the MAD2 description standard', Journal of the Society of Archivists, vol. 14 no. 2 (1993), pp. 117-24.

Cook, Michael, and Proctor, Margaret, A manual of archival description, 2nd edition (Aldershot: Gower, 1989).

Coward, B., `The lieutenancy of Lancashire and Cheshire in the 16th and early 17th centuries', Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 119 (1967), pp. 42-5.

Cox, Marjorie, Kemp, Peter, and Trenbath, Ronald, Bowdon Hall and its people (Altrincham: Bowdon History Society, 1994).

Crockford, John, Crockford's clerical directory for 1870 (etc.).

C[okayne], G[eorge] E[dward], Complete baronetage, 6 vols (Exeter: William Pollard & Co., 1900-9).

C[okayne], G[eorge] E[dward], The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom extant, extinct or dormant, revised edition by Vicary Gibbs and others, 13 vols in 14 (London: St Catherine Press, 1910-59).

Davies, C. Stella, The agricultural history of Cheshire, 1750-1850, Chetham Society, 3rd series, vol. 10 (1960).

Dodgson, J.McN., The place-names of Cheshire, 5 parts in 7 vols, English Place-Name Society, vols 44-48 and 74 (Cambridge: University Press, 1970-97).

Dodwell, E., and Miles, J.S., Alphabetical list of the Honourable East India Company's Bombay Civil Servants... 1796-1839 (London: Longman, Orme, Brown and Co., 1839).

Dore, R.N., `Manchester's discovery of Cheshire: excursionism and commuting in the 19th century', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 82 (1982), pp. 1-21.

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Fryde, E.B., Greenway, D.E., Porter, S., and Roy, I. (eds), Handbook of British chronology, 3rd edition (London: Royal Historical Society, 1986).

Glassey, Lionel K.J., `The Revolution of 1688 in the north-west of England', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 86 (1990), pp. 37-51.

Glover, Steven, The history and gazetteer of the county of Derby, 2 vols (Derby: Henry Mozley & Son, 1831-3).

Glover, William, History of Ashton under Lyne and the surrounding district (Ashton under Lyne: J. Andrew, 1884).

Gore, St John, `Portraits and the Grand Tour', Apollo, July 1978, pp. 24-31.

Graham, J.A., and Phythian, B.A. (eds), The Manchester Grammar School 1515-1965 (Manchester: University Press, 1965).

Hadfield, Ellis Charles Raymond, and Biddle, Gordon, The canals of north west England (Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1970).

Hart's rules for compositors and readers at the University Press, Oxford, 39th edition (Oxford: University Press, 1983).

Harvey, P.D.A. (ed.), Manorial records of Cuxham, Oxfordshire, circa 1200 - 1359, Oxfordshire Record Society, vol. 50 (1974).

Harvey, P.D.A., Manorial records (London: British Records Association, 1984).

Hearnshaw, F.J.C., Leet jurisdiction in England especially as illustrated by the records of the court leet of Southampton (Southampton: Southampton Record Society, 1908).

Hewitt, H.J., Mediaeval Cheshire: an economic and social history of Cheshire in the reigns of the three Edwards (Manchester: University Press, 1929).

Hibbert, Christopher, The great mutiny: India 1857 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1980).

Hill, Samuel, Bygone Stalybridge (Stalybridge: privately printed, 1907).

Hodson, J. Howard, Cheshire 1660-1780: Restoration to Industrial Revolution, vol. 9 of A history of Cheshire, ed. J.J. Bagley (Chester: Cheshire Community Council, 1978).

Hodson, Vernon Charles Paget, List of the officers of the Bengal Army 1758-1834, part 3 (London: Phillimore, 1946).

Holt, G.O., A regional history of the railways of Great Britain; volume 10: the North West (Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1978).

Holt-White, Rashleigh, The life and letters of Gilbert White of Selborne, 2 vols (London: John Murray, 1901).

Hunnisett, R.F., Editing records for publication (London: British Records Association, 1977).

Hunnisett, R.F., Indexing for editors (London: British Records Association, 1972).

Ingham, Alfred, Altrincham and Bowdon, with historical reminiscences of Ashton-upon-Mersey, Sale, and surrounding townships, 2nd edition (London: Cartwright & Rattray, 1897).

Jacob, Giles, The compleat court-keeper: or, land-steward's assistant, 3rd edition (London: E. Nutt & R. Gosling, 1724).

Kelly's directory of Cheshire (London: Kelly's Directories Ltd, 1923 etc.).

Kirkus, A.M., and Owen, A.E.B. (eds), The records of the Commissioners of Sewers in the parts of Holland 1547-1603, Lincoln Record Society, vols 54 & 63 (1959 & 1968).

Latham, R.E., Revised medieval Latin word-list from British and Irish sources (London: British Academy, 1965).

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Leary, Frederick, The Earl of Chester's Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry: its formation and services, 1797 to 1897 (Edinburgh: privately printed at the Ballantyne Press, 1898).

Leech, H.J., Tales and sketches of old Altrincham and Bowdon (Altrincham: 1880).

Local Government Board, Return of owners of land in England and Wales, exclusive of the Metropolis, 1873 (London: H.M.S.O., 1875).

Lord, Evelyn, `The Cornwall-Leghs of High Legh: approaches to the inheritance patterns of North-West England', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 73 no. 2 (1991), pp. 21-36.

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Malet, Hugh, The canal duke: a biography of Francis, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater (Dawlish: David & Charles, 1961).

Martin, Charles Trice, The record interpreter, 2nd edition (London: Stevens & Sons, 1910).

Maxted, Ian, The London book trades 1775-1800: a preliminary checklist of members ([Folkestone]: Dawson, 1977).

Miller, Edward, and Hatcher, John, Medieval England: rural society and economic change, 1086-1348 (London: Longman, 1985).

Mitchell, S.I., `Food shortages and public order in Cheshire, 1757-1812', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 81 (1982), pp. 42-66.

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Morrill, J.S., Cheshire 1630-1660: county government and society during the English revolution (Oxford: University Press, 1974).

Municipal Corporations Commissioners, First report of the commissioners appointed to inquire into the municipal corporations in England and Wales (London: H.M.S.O., 1835).

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Nichols, John, The history and antiquities of the county of Leicester, 4 vols (London: Nichols, Son & Bentley, 1795-1811).

Nickson, Charles, Bygone Altrincham: traditions and history (Altrincham: Mackie & Co., 1935).

Nuttall, Derek, A history of printing in Chester from 1688 to 1965 (Chester: privately printed, 1969).

Nuttall, Derek (ed.), The book trade in Cheshire to 1850: a directory (Liverpool: Liverpool Bibliographical Society, 1992).

Ormerod, George, The history of the county palatine and city of Chester, 2nd edition revised by Thomas Helsby, 3 vols (London: George Routledge, 1882).

Osborne's concise law dictionary, 7th edition, ed. Roger Bird (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1982).

Parrott, V.R., `Manchester attorneys: occupation, communication and organization, a study of the profession before 1838', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 88 (1992), pp. 87-103.

Petford, A.J., `The process of enclosure in Saddleworth, 1625-1834', Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. 84 (1987), pp. 78-117.

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Phillips, A.D.M., `Mossland reclamation in nineteenth-century Cheshire', Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 129 (1980), pp. 93-107.

Piccope, Rev. G.J. (ed.), Lancashire and Cheshire wills and inventories from the ecclesiastical court, Chester, 2 parts, Chetham Society, 1st series, vols 33 & 51, (1857 & 1860).

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Public Record Office, Calendar of the patent rolls, 1216-1582 (London: H.M.S.O., 1891- , in progress).

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Additional Information

General

The principles governing the arrangement of the archive have already been described, but a note on the listing conventions employed in the catalogue may be appropriate here. The catalogue was compiled in accordance with the rules laid down in the Manual of archival description, 2nd edition. This online version of the catalogue was revised in accordance with the protocols of EAD 2002.

The depth of description varies according to the perceived historical and research value of the material, and the quantity of material to be described. Thus the correspondence and papers relating to the will of the 1st Earl of Warrington (EGR3/6/2/1) have been listed in considerable detail, while lengthy runs of rent ledgers and account books from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (EGR14/27 etc.) are described primarily at series-level, while only the span-dates of individual volumes have been recorded. The many thousands of manorial court rolls and court books, though an important historical source, could not be listed in detail because of time constraints. Direct quotations from the original documents are given between double inverted commas. Editorially supplied material that does not appear in the documents (such as the supplied names of townships in which places are situated, or the full forms of person's names or their offices) is recorded between square brackets. Indexing conventions are explained in the introductions to the separate Personal Name, Place-Name and Subject Indices.

Personal Names

Forenames appear in the catalogue and index in their most common modern spellings, regardless of their form in the original documents. Latin forms have been translated into their English equivalents (Ralph for Radulphus, James for Jacobus, John for Johannes etc.). Surnames have often given rise to several modern forms and thus cannot safely be standardised. They are therefore recorded in the catalogue exactly as they appear in the original documents, accompanied by prefixes such as "le" and "de". However, for ease of reference surnames have been standardised in the index: for further information see the introduction to the separate Personal Name Index. When the surname of one person is spelled in several different ways within a single document, the form most closely matching the modern spelling has been used throughout the catalogue description, though the other forms are recorded as variants in the index.

Biographical dates have been supplied in round brackets to distinguish between members of the same family, while supplied material (such as the full forms of names or titles) appears within square brackets, e.g. "George Harry [Grey (1737-1819), 5th] Earl of Stamford". The numbers and titles of peerages have been taken from the Complete peerage. Other biographical material has been derived from the Dictionary of national biography, Who's who, Burke's landed gentry, Crockford's clerical directory, Alumni Cantabrigienses and Alumni Oxonienses, and local directories.

In calendars of title deeds the parties are numbered (1), (2) etc. in order to distinguish them in the descriptions. Unless otherwise specified, the first party is generally the grantor or donor of property in conveyancing documents, the mortgagor or borrower in mortgages, or the person standing bound in bonds of obligation; the second party is the recipient or purchaser of property, the mortgagee, or the obligee in bonds.

Place Names

While the identification of medieval surnames is imprecise and their standardisation is fraught with problems, the vast majority of place-names can readily be identified with a single modern form. Therefore modern forms of place names have been used throughout the catalogue and index, irrespective of their spelling in the original documents. Hyphenation has been avoided in compound names such as Ashton under Lyne. Variant and obsolete forms of place name have not generally been recorded in the catalogue, except for very unusual forms and cases of doubtful identity, but they are provided in the index. Field names, however, are spelled as they appear in the original documents, to facilitate field-name studies.

The ancient townships, parishes and counties, as they existed in the mid-nineteenth century, have been treated as the primary geographical units. Thus Warrington has been regarded as lying within Lancashire, although it was transferred to Cheshire in 1974. The Index to the 1851 census returns has been used as the key reference work for determining the spelling and location of place-names, supplemented by the English Place-Name Society volumes for Cheshire, Derbyshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire, and by the indexes of Lancashire and Cheshire place-names compiled by Ekwall and Dunn. Cheshire is treated as the default county in which all places may be assumed to lie unless otherwise stated. For places situated outside Cheshire the names of the counties are supplied within square brackets if they are not stated in the original documents, e.g. "Warrington [co. Lancs]". Standard county abbreviations have been employed. Likewise, the names of the townships and/or parishes in which hamlets and minor places lie are provided within square brackets when not stated in the original documents, e.g. "Dean Row [to. Bollin Fee]", "Sinderland [to. Dunham Massey]". The spelling of foreign place-names has been taken from The Times index-gazetteer of the world (1965). Information on the format of place-name index entries is provided in the introduction to the separate Place-Name Index.

Dates

The dates when archival entities (whether single documents or the major subdivisions of the archive) were created are recorded in the Dates of Creation field at the head of the catalogue descriptions. These dates should be distinguished from the dates of events recorded in the documents, which are cited in the text of the descriptions. Dates are recorded in the standard form DD MMM YYYY, the month being abbreviated to three letters without a stop. Pre-1752 dates between 1 January and 24 March (the last day of the old year) are given in the dual form "27 Jan 1514/5".

Dates given in documents in terms of feast days and regnal years have generally been converted into days of the month and years Anno Domini. Undated materials are marked "n.d.". Square brackets are used to indicate any inferred element in a date, e.g. "2 Feb [1902]". When an item cannot be dated exactly but is known to lie between two terminal dates the form "1392x1405" is used.

List of Abbreviations

Note that the most commonly occurring abbreviations, such as gent, esq, jun, sen, yeo etc., do not terminate with a full point, irrespective of the normal rules of contraction.

  • a. acre(s)
  • app. appendix
  • bart baronet
  • c. circa
  • co. county (of)
  • d denarius, penny
  • d died
  • dec'd deceased
  • dr. dram [weight]
  • esq esquire
  • exor executor
  • f., ff. folio, folios
  • fa. farthing
  • fl. floruit
  • ft. foot [length]
  • gent gentleman
  • ha. halfpenny
  • Hon Honourable
  • hu. hundred (of)
  • in. inch
  • jun junior, younger
  • knt knight
  • lb. pound [weight]
  • mem. membrane(s)
  • MS, MSS manuscript, manuscripts
  • n.d. no date, undated
  • ob. obelus, halfpenny
  • oz. ounce [weight]
  • p. perch(es)
  • p., pp. page, pages
  • pa. parish (of)
  • pas. parishes (of)
  • qu. quadrans, farthing
  • r. rood(s); recto
  • Rev Reverend
  • Rt Right
  • s solidus, shilling
  • sen senior, elder
  • temp. tempore, in the time of
  • to. township (of)
  • tos. townships (of)
  • v. verso,
  • v.versus [legal]
  • vol., vols volume, volumes
  • yeo, yeos yeoman, yeomen

Dimensions

The dimensions of documents are recorded in centimetres, to the nearest half-centimetre, e.g. "25.5 x 13 cms". Few documents are regular in shape and more exact measurement therefore seemed unnecessary. The first figure records the width of the document, the second its height. In the case of volumes, however, in accordance with normal conventions the first figure records the height from head to foot, the second the width from the spine to the foredge.

A Note on Cheshire Measures

Areas of land were invariably measured in acres (abbreviated to "a."), roods ("r.") and perches ("p.") within the archive. The rood was sometimes also known as a quarter. 1 acre="4" roods = 160 perches. The Cheshire acre was 2.117 times larger than the standard acre (i.e. equivalent to 0.8567 hectares as opposed to the standard 0.4047 hectares). One may safely assume that before the mid-nineteenth century all measurements are according to the Cheshire scale, unless otherwise stated. The adoption of the standard imperial measure was probably precipitated by the growth of the railway network. The railway companies required a uniform measure for their own purposes and their dealings with local landowners may have encouraged the latter to follow suit.