Vanneck Family: Personal and Estate Papers

Scope and Content

Most of the papers in the collection concern the administration of the Heveningham estate, rather than the Vanneck family. The collection includes lengthy series of medieval court records, as well as accounts, rentals and surveys for the manors of Aldham, Cratfield, Huntingfield, Laxfield, Leiston and others. There are also papers relating to the house and garden, miscellaneous personal and family papers, title deeds to various individual properties, mortage papers, parish records, school records, political papers, and maps and plans. A subsidiary and self-contained section consists of papers of the Arcedeckne family, and of their estates in both Suffolk and Jamaica, c. 1744-1848. These include general, business, estate and election correspondence; papers relating to properties at the Glevering Hall estate, London, the Isle of Wight, the West Country and the Jamaican estate; accounts, correspondence and papers on West Indian business; and further general correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Heveningham estate, near Halesworth, Suffolk, was purchased by Sir Joshua Vanneck, Bart (d. 1777), in 1752 from the Bence family. Sir Joshua, of Putney, was born at the Hague, Holland, and came to London in 1722, where, in partnership with his elder brother Gerard (d. 1750), he obtained a large fortune in commerce, and was created a baronet (1751). He was succeeded by his son, Sir Gerard Vanneck, 2nd Baronet, a merchant of London and M.P. for Dunwich. In 1778 Sir Gerard employed Sir Robert Taylor to design Haveningham Hall, the work being continued by James Wyatt on Taylor's dismissal, and completed by 1784.

On Sir Gerard's death in 1791 his brother Sir Joshua Vanneck (1745-1816) became 3rd Baronet. He was educated at Eton, before following his father and elder brother in becoming a merchant of London. He was Tory M.P. for Dunwich, 1790-1816, and was created Baron Huntingfield of Heveningham Hall in 1796. Sir Joshua was succeeded by his son, also called Joshua (1778-1844), who, like his father, was educated at Eton, and served as M.P. for Dunwich, 1816-1819. He, in turn, was succeeded by his second and only surviving son, Charles Andrew Vanneck (1818-1897), who became high sheriff of Suffolk in 1848. Charles's son, Joshua Charles Vanneck (1842-1915), became the 4th Baron Huntingfield. He was educated at Eton and entered the Scots Guards in 1863, retiring when a lieutenant colonel in 1892. He died unmarried, and was succeeded by his nephew, William Charles Arcedeckne Vanneck (b. 1883).

The family remained in possession of Haveningham Hall until 1970, when the estate was purchased by the government.

The Vanneck family was connected to the Arcedeckne family, formerly of Glevering Hall, Suffolk, through Charles Andrew Vanneck, 3rd Baron Huntingfield, who married Louisa, only daughter of Andrew Arcedeckne, in 1839.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the trustees of the Heveningham Hall Settlement, 1973.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The history of the family was compiled with reference to George E. Cockayne, ed., The complete peerage, Vol. VI (London, 1926), and The complete baronetage (Gloucester, 1983).

Other Finding Aids

A summary listing of the collection is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Custodial History

The papers were held formerly at Heveningham Hall.