Papers of the Smith-Bromley Family of East Stoke, Nottinghamshire, 1305-1876

Scope and Content

The collection contains the estate papers, manorial records, title deeds of property and otherlegal papers relating to land held by the Smith-Bromley family. The majority of the property recordsrelate to the lands in the parish of East Stoke and neighbouring Nottinghamshire parishes but thereare also documents concerning places in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire,Flintshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Westmorland, Lancashire and Huntingdonshire.

The collection is particularly rich in property records and associated legal documents. Fewrentals or other records showing the economic base of the estate and family are present. Thecorrespondence is almost entirely of a business nature and there are only occasional items of afamily or personal nature.

Although the collection is very incomplete, it does contain most of the types of records whichwould be usual in an estate archive. They include: manorial records (terriers, valuations, bailiffs'accounts and court rolls) dating from the 15th century and later, deeds from the 14th century,ecclesiastical records concerning tithes, endowments and collections, and administrative recordsincluding the sheriff's acquittance or the appointment of the undersheriff from the 18th century.There are also additional deposits of 19th century title deeds. Although maps and plans have not ingeneral survived, there is a map of 1561 depicting part of East Stoke.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Henry Bromley, Baronet (1818-1895) of Stoke Hall, East Stoke, Nottinghamshire was the head ofthe Bromley family in 1876, the date of the last dated item in this collection. Sir Henry was the4th to succeed to a baronetage that was created on 31 October 1757 for Sir George Smith (c.1714-1769), elder son of eminent Nottingham banker, Abel Smith. Sir George's son George (1753-1808)succeeded him to the baronetage. He assumed the name of Bromley on 7 February 1778 at the request ofRobert Bromley esq. of Abberley, Worcestershire, the unmarried first cousin of Sir George's mother.This was presumably a condition of Sir George becoming Robert Bromley's heir. Sir George Bromley wasfollowed by his son, Robert Howe (1778-1873) who in turn was succeeded by Sir Henry Bromley Bart.,his eldest surviving son.

Sir Henry, the 4th baronet, was a JP, Doctor of Letters and High Sheriff (1882) forNottinghamshire. He was also captain of the 3rd Nottinghamshire Rifle Volunteers and the 48th footregiment. He married Charlotte Frances Anne Rolleston (d.1853) in 1848 and Georgina Ellen Vere-Fanein 1856.

Abel Smith is said to have inherited lands in the Nottinghamshire parishes of Elston and EastStoke from James Banks (d.1729) of Nottingham, JP and high sheriff (1722) and a relative of hismother. Abel Smith was the first member of the Smith family to live in East Stoke and may haveerected Stoke Hall, said to have been built about 1750 on the site of St. Leonard's Hospital or aformer manorial hall. Stoke Hall remained in the Smith-Bromley family until 1923 when it was sold bySir Maurice Bromley, the 7th baronet. The Smith-Bromleys were lords of the manor of East Stoke untilthis date. The family also owned estates in the Nottinghamshire parishes of Elston, Owthorpe andThorpe and their holdings stretched into a number of neighbouring counties.

East Stoke is a village and parish in Newark Hundred and was in the northern wapentake ofThurgarton in Southwell Union.


The collection was not given any structure or logical arrangement when it was acquired by TheUniversity of Nottingham Library and its order of listing, by item, still reflects the originalorder in which it was received.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

REPROGRAPHIC: Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and privatestudy purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • In the Reading Room, The University of Nottingham Library: Typescript Catalogue to item level, 67 pp
  • At the National Register of Archives, London: Typescript Catalogue to item level, 67 pp

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must besought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and SpecialCollections (email Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.

LANGUAGE: English, Latin

Custodial History

The bulk of the collection was acquired in the 1940s by The University of Nottingham andsubsequent additions were received by the University's Department of Manuscripts in 1978 and1987.