Papers from Dunham Massey Hall relating to Other Grey Estates

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 EGR12
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      Language: all items are in English  unless otherwise stated.
  • Physical Description
      11 items. Physical composition: all items and pieces are single sheets of paper unless otherwise stated.

Scope and Content

The Grey family's estates in the Midland counties of Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, and in Norfolk, were administered separately from the former Booth lands in Cheshire and Lancashire. Consequently few records relating to them have survived among the archives from Dunham Massey Hall or the Stamford Estate Office in Altrincham. The subfonds EGR12 contains only eleven items, the majority of which relate to the former Willoughby estates in Nottinghamshire, and the manor of Southery in Norfolk.

The subfonds EGR12 contains eleven items: a lease for years in Cropston co. Leics, 1658/9 (EGR12/1); a household account book from Bradgate House co. Leics, 1678-81 (EGR12/2); a copy of the will of Sir Henry Purefoy bequeathing lands in Southery co. Norfolk to Willoughby Grey, a letter to Sir Willoughby Aston, and a bundle of deeds and papers relating to the manor of Southery belonging to Henry Aston esq, 1672-1792 (EGR12/3-5); a letters patent of inspeximus rehearsing a case concerning tithes in South Collingham co. Notts, 1709 (EGR12/6); a bundle of papers relating to the Earl of Stamford's estates in Old and New Awsworth, Newthorpe and South Collingham co. Notts, 1747-50 & 1795 (EGR12/7); two draft deputations of gamekeepers in Old and New Awsworth co. Notts, 1784 (EGR12/8); a rental and account book for the Earl of Stamford's estates in Awsworth, Newthorpe, and North and South Collingham co. Notts, 1791 (EGR12/9); a copy rental for the estates in North and South Collingham co. Notts, 1791 (EGR12/10); and two statements of account for Enville Hall and the Staffordshire estates of the Earl of Stamford, 1816 (EGR12/11).

Related Materials in Other Subfonds

The subfonds EGR1, Title Deeds and Settlements, contains deeds relating to the Booth family's estates in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Yorkshire. There is also a probate copy of the will of Mary Countess of Stamford (1704-1772) which refers to the manor of Westwood and property in Leek, Cheddleton and Caverswall co. Staffs, 1769 (EGR1/8/12/4).

Among the papers of the Booth family, which include those of Mary Countess of Stamford, wife of Harry Grey (1715-1768), 4th Earl of Stamford, are the following papers relating to Grey estates outside Cheshire and Lancashire: two copies of an Act for the sale of parts of the settled estates of the 4th Earl of Stamford in Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Derbyshire, 1746-7 (EGR3/7/3/4); a bundle of estate papers containing numerous references to Grey estates in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Staffordshire, 1746-70 (EGR3/7/1/4); and notes on a settlement made by the 4th Earl of Stamford of estates in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, ?1765 (EGR3/7/1/6/4).

The personal papers of the Grey family contain notes on the purchase by the 5th Earl of Stamford of an estate in Anstey co. Leics, 1814 (EGR4/1/6/30-31), and a copy of a tax return describing property occupied by the 5th Earl of Stamford in London, Leicestershire, Cheshire and Staffordshire, 1812 (EGR4/1/8/10/12-13).

Among the miscellaneous papers from Dunham Massey Hall is a bound volume, purchased at auction by the 10th Earl of Stamford, which contains thirteen documents written by, or relating to, Thomas Grey (d 1719/20), 2nd Earl of Stamford, 1681-1723 (EGR13/1). The documents include a rental of manors and advowsons held by Lord Stamford in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, 1686, and a schedule of Lord Stamford's portion of a division of manors, advowsons and other property between himself and Sir Bourchier Wrey.

Administrative / Biographical History

In addition to the Lancashire and Cheshire estates that they inherited from the Booth family, the Earls of Stamford held substantial estates in the Midland counties of Staffordshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, and owned smaller properties in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

The Leicestershire estate, centred on Bradgate Park, was acquired by the Grey family in the mid fifteenth century, while the Staffordshire property was purchased in the early sixteenth century. Enville Hall near Stourbridge became the principal Grey family residence, and it remained in the ownership of a descendant of the Greys at the end of the twentieth century.

For further information on the Leicestershire and Staffordshire estates, see the history of the Grey family, Earls of Stamford, within the headnote to the archive as a whole, EGR. An account of Bradgate House and Park is given in Joan Stevenson and Anthony Squires, Bradgate Park: childhood home of Lady Jane Grey (Newtown Linford: Kairos Press, 1994). For Enville Hall see Rev Stebbing Shaw, The history and antiquities of Staffordshire, 2 vols (London: J. Robson, 1798 & 1801), vol. 2, pp. 268-74, and 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 (see EGR3/7/3/4 among the papers of Mary Countess of Stamford).

The Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire properties were 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 (see EGR12/7/18 below), 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. Source: Local Government Board, Return of owners of land in England and Wales, exclusive of the Metropolis, 1873 (London: 1875).

The Midland estates were administered separately from the former Booth lands, and consequently few records relating to them have survived among the archives from Dunham Massey Hall or the Stamford Estate Office in Altrincham. The majority of items in EGR12 relate to the former Willoughby estates in Nottinghamshire, and the manor of Southery in Norfolk.


i) Original Arrangement of Documents

The items in EGR12 were found intermingled with other documents in various locations within Dunham Massey Hall, but principally in Lord Stamford's Study. One item (EGR12/6) carries a label with a reference number applied by Dr Guppy during his survey of the archives at Ashton under Lyne in 1922.

ii) Present Method of Arrangement

Because of the small number and diverse nature of the items in EGR12, no attempt was made to arrange them into series. Instead the items relating to particular estates have been grouped together in the following order: Leicestershire (EGR12/1-2), Norfolk (EGR12/3-5), Nottinghamshire (EGR12/6-10), and Staffordshire (EGR12/11).

Acquisition Information

The items in EGR12 were transferred on deposit by the National Trust from Dunham Massey Hall to the John Rylands University Library in several accessions, on 12 September 1978, 29 June 1990, 24 January 1992 and 8 May 1992.

Custodial History

During the second half of the nineteenth century, when Dunham Massey Hall was tenanted, many of the archives from the Hall were transferred to Ashton Old Hall in Lancashire, and they were subsequently moved to the muniment room in the Stamford Estate Office at Ashton under Lyne. In March 1922 Dr Henry Guppy of the John Rylands Library was commissioned by the 10th Earl of Stamford to conduct a survey of the records at Ashton under Lyne before their return to Dunham Massey Hall. Only one item in EGR12 is identifiable in Dr Guppy's surviving schedule (EGR12/6). However, the label of another item (EGR12/7) is annotated "Papers brought | by Mr Hall | from Dunham | in June 1855", which may indicate that it too was removed to Ashton under Lyne.

Related Material

Leicestershire Record Office contains papers from the Grey family's estates in that county. These were deposited in two parts.

Part one (DE 311 & DE 453), deposited in 1957 and 1961, contains title deeds and estate papers, 1551-1859. They include probate and parish papers, maps of the Breedon estate, 1758-61, other maps and plans, 1774-1859, rentals, cash books, days books and other account books from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, leases, 1895-1917, and correspondence and legal papers re Groby Granite Co., 1866-1926.

Part two (DE 1982) contains 245 documents, 1590-1927. These are mainly title deeds relating to the Leicestershire estates, but including references to property in Lincolnshire, Devon, Somerset and Shropshire. The estate papers comprise enclosure documents, surveys and rentals, including copies of seventeenth-century surveys, leases and rentals of Breedon and Groby manors, and administrative papers of the Stamford estates in Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Lancashire and Cheshire. Source: Heather E. Broughton, Family and estate records in Leicestershire Record Office, 2nd edition (1991), pp. 13-14.

The papers from Enville Hall in Staffordshire remain in the custody of the present owner of the Hall, Mrs Diana Williams. They contain material relating to the Grey family's estates in Cheshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.