Collection of letters primarily from members of the Venables-Vernon family of Sudbury, Derbyshire, to the Reverend John Addenbrooke, Dean of Lichfield, 1744-1776

Scope and Content

The collection contains 69 manuscript items, mainly personal letters written by members of the Vernon-Venables family of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, to the Rev. John Addenbrooke. Those dated 1775-1776 were principally written in Bath, where Lord Vernon was staying for his health. The letters cover personal and domestic topics including health, taking the waters at Bath, starting at university, family events, society and hunting. Business matters and politics are occasionally mentioned. There is a description of a visit to North America and details of the War of American Independence (MS 107/2/2-4), and reference to Parliamentary affairs (MS 107/10). The collection comprises:

Letters written by George, 1st Baron Vernon, 1762-1778 and n.d. Mostly unaddressed, but assumed to be to Dr Addenbrooke. Those from after February 1776 are addressed to Edward Addenbrooke Esq. at Mr Hill's, Worcester. 16 items (MS 107/1);

Letters written by Henry Venables-Vernon to 'Sir' [Dr Addenbrooke], c.1775-1776. 4 items (MS 107/2);

One letter written by Edward Venables-Vernon, from Christ Church, Oxford, to Dr Addenbrooke. c.1775. (MS 107/3);

Letters written by 'E. Nuneham' [Elizabeth Harcourt, Viscountess Nuneham], to Dr Addenbrooke. 1765-1776 and n.d. 7 items (MS 107/4);

Letters written by Martha Venables-Vernon to Dr Addenbrooke. c.1775-1776 and n.d. 15 items (MS 107/5);

Letters written by Anne Venables-Vernon to Dr Addenbrooke, from Bath, n.d. [c.1775-1776]. 9 items (MS 107/6);

Letters written by Catherine Venables-Vernon to Dr Addenbrooke, c.1775-1776. 4 items (MS 107/7),

One letter from Katherine Vernon to Dr Addenbrooke, n.d. (MS 107/8);

One letter from Frederick [Cornwallis], Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, to Dr Addenbrooke, 1751 (MS 107/9);

One letter from 'Gower' [John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower], to Dr Addebrooke. 1747 (MS 107/10);

One letter from Richard [Smalbroke], Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, to Dr Addenbrooke, 1744 (MS 107/11);

One letter from Thomas Careless of Brewood to Lord Vernon, 1770 (MS 107/12);

One copy letter from Lord Ward to Mr Holyoake, attorney, of Wolverhampton, sent on to Mr Addenbrooke at Kingswinford, 1744 (MS 107/13).

Bundle of papers relating to Dr Addenbrooke's executorship of the will of Mrs Mary Barber of Sudbury, widow: copy will of Mary Barber, proved February 1762; receipt of Dr Addenbrooke for interest on a debt owed by John Barber to the late Mrs Barber, paid by Lord Vernon, June 1762; receipt of Thomas and John Rowley for legacies left them by Mrs Barber, paid by Lord Vernon, June 1771; and note from Lord Vernon relating to legacies. 4 items. (MS 107/14).

Lyrics entitled 'High let us swell our tunefull notes', and 'Hymn 2' [18th century]; and lyrics entitled 'Clay pipe and Bacco boy', stuck to a music score [late 19th or early 20th century] (MS 107/15).

Envelopes addressed to Edward Addenbrooke at Mr Hill's, Worcester, franked by Lord Vernon, 2 items, undated (MS 107/16).

Administrative / Biographical History

Reverend John Addenbrooke was educated at Oxford, where he received his doctorate in Divinity. He was ordained as a deacon in 1715 and as a priest in 1717. He was instituted as Rector of Sudbury, Derbyshire, in 1736, and became Dean of Lichfield in 1745. He married Dorothea Wedgewood (1701-1772), and died on 25 February 1776. They had no children; the Edward Addenbrooke also mentioned in this collection was a relative.

Dr Addenbrooke, as Rector of Sudbury, was closely acquainted with the Vernon family of Sudbury Hall. George Vernon of Sudbury Hall (1709-1780) assumed the additional surname and arms of the Venables family in 1728, and was elevated to the peerage as Lord Vernon, Baron of Kinderton, Cheshire in 1762. This collection includes letters from Lord Vernon, and from some of the children of his third marriage: Henry (1747-1829), who succeeded as 3rd Baron Vernon in 1813; Edward (1757-1847), who succeeded to the estates of Earl Harcourt in 1830 and assumed the surname Harcourt in 1831, and became Archbishop of York; Elizabeth (d 1826), wife of George Simon Harcourt, Viscount Nuneham, later 2nd Earl of Harcourt; Martha; Anne (d 1837); and Catherine.


The collection has been arranged by name of correspondent and document type into 16 series. Within these series, items have been arranged chronologically where possible.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on the description belongs to the University of Nottingham.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Conditions Governing Use

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

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 advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by the library of University College Nottingham in 1945.