Papers of the Holden Family of Nuthall Temple, Nottinghamshire, 1296-1948

Scope and Content

Although the Holden archive includes some family and personal papers, it relates essentially toproperty: the acquisition of and title to land, the dispersal of land and the management of thefamily's estates. The bulk of the Collection consists of deeds and settlements, tracing the family'sacquisition of land through marriage and direct purchase.

Amongst the estate papers are accounts, correspondence, maps, rentals and surveys and itemsconcerning mining and railway development and the dispersal of estates. The estate papers focusparticularly on the Hawton and Nuthall estates in Nottinghamshire but also relate to other areas ofNottinghamshire and Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. The series of correspondence of Robert Holden andhis agent George Hodgkinson from 1825-1843 provides a valuable insight into the management of theHawton estate, detailing matters such as tenants' rents, repairs to tenant properties and disputeswith the Rector over tithes.

In addition to the estate papers, there are a number of genealogical papers, various family willsand testamentary papers and some personal papers including ordination papers of Rev. AtkinsonAlexander Holden.

Administrative / Biographical History

According to Burke's History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain, the earliest known ascendantof the Holdens of Nuthall Temple was Henry Holden of Wilne of Derbyshire, born in the first half ofthe 16th century. The succession was then as follows: Henry's eldest son Robert of Aston(1594-1659), Robert's second son Samuel of Aston (1636-1692), Samuel's eldest son Rev. ThomasHolden, Rector of Aston (d.1726), Thomas's son Millington (1707-1755), and Millington's son Robert(d. 1780).

Through various marriages the Holdens acquired lands in Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire andLincolnshire. Felley Priory, Nottinghamshire, was inherited by the Holdens through Thomas's marriageto Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Gilbert Millington of Felley Priory. The marriage in 1725 ofAlexander Holden (1680-1769), son of Samuel Holden, to Mary Atkinson, daughter of Robert Atkinson ofNewark (d. 1699) was of particular significance in bringing the Atkinson and Standish estates to thefamily. In 1717 Alexander Holden purchased the manor of Hawton, Nottinghamshire from the Newdigatefamily. Alexander and Mary's son Atkinson inherited the Holden estates and the Nottinghamshire andYorkshire estates from his mother which on his death passed to his brother Robert (1722-1808) whoalso purchased estates at Darley, Derbyshire.

Robert Holden died without issue and his estates were inherited by his cousin Robert (1769-1844),the son of Robert of Newark mentioned above. In 1819 Robert Holden purchased Nuthall Temple and themanor of Nuthall, Nottinghamshire, from the Sedley family, after applying for an Act of Parliamentto allow him to sell his settled estates in Derbyshire and Yorkshire. In 1800 Robert had marriedMary Anne Drury Lowe (1783-1840), the daughter of William Drury (Lowe) (1783-1827) of Locko Park,Derbyshire. On the death of his father in law, Robert Holden managed the Drury Lowe estates althoughhe was outlived by his mother in law. When she died in 1849, the Drury Lowe estates passed toWilliam, the eldest son of Robert and Mary Anne Holden, who changed his name from Holden to DruryLowe. The Holden estates passed to the second son, Robert Holden (1805-1872), known as 'TheColonel'.

Robert was succeeded by his brother Atkinson Alexander Holden (1808-1882), Vicar of Spondon andRector of Hawton. The estates then passed to his son John (1848-1913) and subsequently to John'syounger brother Robert (1853-1926), Rector of Nuthall.

Robert was succeeded by his son Robert Millington Holden (1885-1950) who sold Nuthall Temple andbought Chetwode priory in Buckinghamshire where he lived until 1930 when he purchased Sibdon Castlein Shropshire.


The collection has been divided by document type into series. Within these series, some itemshave been grouped by family or by location and some by date.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers. Some 20thcentury papers may be subject to access restrictions.


Other Finding Aids

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

  • The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections:Typescript Catalogue, 351 pp
  • On the World Wide WebFinding aid for the entire collection is available on A2A (Access to Archives).

Separated Material

  • The location of other archive material relating to the Holden family is recorded on theNational Register of Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners butthe responsibility of copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

Custodial History

The collection was acquired in 1994.

Related Material

  • Papers of the Drury Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire GB 159 Dr-Dr4