Papers of Lady Louisa Egerton (née Cavendish, 1835 – 1907)

Scope and Content

This collection consists of the personal papers of Lady Louisa Egerton, née Cavendish (1835-1907). It primarily comprises correspondence, including letters from Lady Louisa's sister-in-law Lady Edward (Emma) Cavendish concerning the health of Lord Edward Cavendish. There is also correspondence concerning collections, including items at Hardwick Hall and the creation of a catalogue of prints and drawings at Chatsworth by Sir James Lacaita, who also compiled a four-volume catalogue of the Duke of Devonshire's Library, published in 1879.

In addition there are notes made by Lady Louisa Egerton providing updates to the 6th Duke of Devonshire's Handbook of Chatsworth and Hardwick (published in 1844), and notes made by Lady Louisa on one of the Cavendish family's other properties, Compton Place in Eastbourne.

Finally there is an Annual Report for Flookburgh Infant School dating from 1868: Louisa Egerton was patroness of the school, which was located on the Cartmel peninsula in Lancashire (now in Cumbria), near her childhood home of Holker Hall.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lady Louisa Caroline Egerton, née Cavendish (1835-1907), was the daughter of William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, and Lady Blanche Georgiana Howard. She was born at Holker Hall in Lancashire (now in Cumbria), home to her father and his family before he became Duke. She was the third child born to her parents: William, born in 1831, died at the age of two, and Spencer Compton, born in 1833, went on to become 8th Duke of Devonshire. Her younger siblings were Lord Frederick, Liberal politician who was assassinated in Phoenix Park in 1882, and Lord Edward, soldier and politician.

On 26 September 1865, Louisa Cavendish married naval commander and politician, Admiral Hon. Francis Egerton (1824-1895), the son of Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere, and Harriet Catherine Greville. The couple had five children: William Francis (1868-1949); Commander Frederick Greville (1869-1899); Blanche Harriet (1871-1943); Dorothy Charlotte (1874-1959); and Christian Mary (1876-1970).

Louisa Egerton died on 21 September 1907 in Surrey.


The collection is arranged in three series, as follows:

  • DF25/1: Correspondence of Lady Louisa Egerton (1880-1907)
  • DF25/2: Notebooks kept by Lady Louisa Egerton (1894-1896)
  • DF25/3: Other Papers of Lady Louisa Egerton (1868)

Access Information

The collection is open for consultation. Access to the archive at Chatsworth is by appointment only. For more information please visit the website.

Acquisition Information

The material was extant in the Devonshire Collection prior to 1 August 2011.

Other Finding Aids

An item-level catalogue of the collection in PDF format can be found on the Chatsworth website.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study and personal research purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Some of the material remains in the copyright of Chatsworth House Trust, but some is also subject to third-party copyright. It is the responsibility of researchers to obtain permission both from Chatsworth House Trust, and from the any other rights holders before reproducing material for purposes other than research or private study.

Appraisal Information

Three items were removed from this collection at the point of cataloguing, and are curated separately, namely: a christening cap made by Blanche Cavendish; the first boot to be worn by William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, given to Lady Louisa by Agnes Hudson of Holker in July 1858; and Agnes Hudon's wedding ring.

Custodial History

The material in the collection was created or accumulated by Lady Louisa Egerton. Its exact archival history is unknown.

Related Material

Correspondence of Louisa Egerton can be found in several other collections held in the Devonshire Collection Archives: GB 2495 DF5 (Papers of William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire); GB 2495 DF6 (Papers of Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire); GB 2495 DF18 (Papers of Lord Edward Cavendish); GB 2495 DF22 (Papers of Lady Edward Cavendish); GB 2495 DF23 (Papers of Lord Frederick Cavendish); GB 2495 CS2 (Second Correspondence Series); and GB 2495 CS8 (6th Duke of Devonshire's Correspondence Series).