In brief, U DDFA and U DDFA2 are largely pre-twentieth century title documents, estate papers and official and personal family papers, including some interesting correspondence. U DDFA3 is a deposit purely of family correspondence from 1724 and it is particularly rich in letters to and from the women members of the family in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. U DDFA4 comprises later documents relating to family estates as well as settlements and wills. U DDFA5 and U DDFA6 comprise twentieth century papers related to the management of estates. The six deposits in detail now follow.
DDFA is a very large deposit comprising mostly pre-twentieth-century documents relating to family estates, some correspondence, appointments, commissions and miscellaneous papers of Beilby Richard Lawley, 2nd Lord Wenlock (1818-1880) and Beilby Lawley, 3rd Lord Wenlock (1849-1912) (including papers of the Halifax Sugar Refinery Ltd. for the 1880s and 1890s; more details below). A section of accounts at DDFA/37 includes the business accounts of the wine merchant Henry Thompson consisting of cash books and journals 1647-8, one of them kept in the wine producing region of Bordeaux; a business journal kept in York and Amsterdam 1655-7; a business journal and letter book 1653-67 and the wine account book of his brother, Edward Thompson, 1662-5, as well as nineteenth century accounts from the family's Yorkshire and Shropshire estates including housekeeping account books and personal accounts such as for clothing and medical attention. Rentals and surveys for Deighton, Escrick, Kexby, Riccall, Skipwith, Wheldrake and others 1742-1884 are at U DDFA/41 and there is a map of the estates in the East Riding in 1851 at U DDFA/45/19. U DDFA also contains sections of bonds (1553-1828); a section of settlements (1681-1882) including family marriage settlements; various deeds (1659-1864) and wills (1619-1882). There is a valuable collection of maps and plans at DDFA/45 including a substantial run of 6 inch ordnance survey maps of Yorkshire from the 1850-7 edition.
U DDFA has a large correspondence section at U DDFA/39 including miscellaneous correspondence described as 'valuable autographs belonging to Lord Wenlock'. There are a number of letters from three periods (c.1660-85, c.1710-25, c.1790-1855). The correspondence of Henry Thompson is here as well as a letter of Thomas Herbert circa 1660, a letter of Brian Fairfax about court affairs dated 1666, letters from the Duke of Buckingham in the 1660s, early eighteenth-century letters of Ambrose Philips, eighteenth-century letters of the bishops of Worcester, Lichfield, Chester and London and one letter from Lord Fauconberg dated 1760. There is a letter to Henry Thompson from Richard Sterne, archbishop of York dated 23 November 1668. There is also some correspondence of Henry Thompson, Edward Thompson and Andrew Marvell 1673-77. These four letters only came to the attention of Marvell scholars through the research of Caroline Robbins who published them along with some of her other Marvell-finds as 'Six Letters by Andrew Marvell' in Etudes Anglaises, 17 (1964). They have since been reprinted in the 3rd edition of H M Margoliouth's 'The Poems and Letters of Andrew Marvell' (1971). In addition there are letters of Richard Boyle dated 1667 and nineteenth century letters about family affairs (including some specimens of hair) and life in India. The 1865 correspondence of Charles Selby Rigge is about the parliamentary election for South Shropshire and Wenlock (see below for further details about 'valuable autographs').
Miscellaneous material at U DDFA/40 includes the oath taken on 6 July 1668 of Sir Walsingham Cooke, a free brother of the Society of Merchant Adventurers, some eighteenth-century medicinal recipes, a memorandum of the baptisms of John Beilby's children 1662-1674 at Cottingham, a history of King Arthur in rhyme, pedigrees and genealogical material of the Beckwith family, inventories, nineteenth century railway material and an original bundle of muster rolls for the Yorkshire Hussar Yeomanry 1870-5.
Estate papers in U DDFA in detail are as follows: Barlby (1734, 1781); Barmby-on-the-Marsh (1737, 1763); Deighton (1616-1905) including rentals 1799-1859, the tithe apportionment of 1843, the marriage settlements of Ralph Milbanke and Elizabeth D'Arcy (1708), Jeremiah Wright and Sarah Ibbetson (1701), the wills of Elizabeth Smith (1738), Jeremiah Wright (1703), Sarah Wright (1726), Thomas Smith (1746), tithe accounts 1829-64; Elvington (1769-1906) including abstracts of title of the Sterne and Dodsworth families and an extract from the will of George Cock (1831); Escrick and Bardolgarf (1387-1857) including title deeds of Edward, Lord Howard of 1630, an account book of Escrick Overseers of the Poor 1752-1816, the assignment of a pew by the Archibishop of York to Beilby Thompson in 1787, some nineteenth-century valuations and surveys, the subscription papers of the Reverend Robert Ellis as rector of Escrick in 1825, the 1387 gift of Escrick from Thomas Daunay to his heirs, early modern papers of title of the Knyvett family, the wills of William Foster (1612), Thomas Gray (1667), John Davies (1673), George Potts (1667) and Henry Thompson (1681), the marriage settlements of John Foster and Elizabeth Dyneley (1675), 'Sir J C' and Elizabeth Wastell nee Legard (1681); Hull (1556, 1623); Kelfield (1650-1839) including the marriage settlements of Joseph Stillington and Mary Peirse (1729), Edward Stillingfleet and Mary Peirse (1779) and a copy of the will of Joseph Walls (1778); Kexby (1552-1914) including early modern papers of title of the Ughtred and Tanckerd families, a 1752 plan and valuation of the woods, the marriage settlements of Marmaduke Constable and Mabel Cressy (1620) and Charles Headlam and Bridget Mosley (1734) and the wills of Dorothy Sterne (1706), William Headlam (1708), Richard Sterne (1732), Richard Sterne (1743), William Read (1762), John Dodsworth (1809), Thomas Mason (1724), John Leng (1789), John Leng (1795); Millington (1666-1712); Naburn (1621-1826) being largely papers of title of the Palmes family and including the enclosure act of 1766, a survey of Park House Farm 1805 and the will of Thomas Swann (1802); North Duffield (1621-1791); Ottringham (1565-1636) being papers of the Thornton, Kelsey and Swan families.
Estate papers in U DDFA continue with Riccall (1612-1919) which is a large series including a 1755 survey of the estate and a 1724 survey of copyhold land in the open fields by John Colton, an abstract of the title of Lord Wenlock 1858-77, a few manorial records, a bundle of agreements for the sale of common rights in 1829, the wills of Eleanor Waud (1728), Philip Rosendale (1788), John Rosendale (1800), Richard Robinson (1743), Thomas Routh (1800), Richard Baxter (1749), Thomas Thompson (1754), Richard Barnard (1779), Ann Barnard (1784), Thomas Jackson (1796), John Dodsworth (1809), Thomas Harriman (1722), Thomas Harriman (1743), Mary Harriman (1756), William Hawkin (1780), William Walker (1783), William Wormley (1801), Henry Wormley (1805), Edward Wormley (1816), Edward Wormley (1820), Alice Heild (1828), William Smith (1849), George Heild (1848), Josiah Stead (1822), John Boyes (1829), Thomas Greenwood (1815), Richard Baldwin (1775), Richard Wilson (1855), Elizabeth Boswell (1852), the marriage settlement of Peregrine Wentworth and Mary Thompson (1751).
The estate papers in U DDFA follow with a large series for Skipwith (1586-1905) including the marriage settlements of William and Alice Blanshard (1635), Edward Bawne and Alice Doughty (1645), William Ashton and Catherine Johnson (1680), Banister Walton and Jane Toulson (1758), William Mills and Helen Clarkson (1713), early modern papers of the Thompson family and eighteenth-century papers of John Alderson and family, a jury presentment to the manor in 1808, the terrier of Skipwith vicarage in 1817, some nineteenth-century rentals, an account book of rents for wasteland in Skipwith 1807-19 and the wills of William Latham (1658), William Jackson (1658), Jane Blackburn (1684), John Bawne (1690), Leonard Winder (1707), William Kirk (1756), John Summerton (1793), Christopher Nelson (1843), Michael Cooper (1745), George Thompson (1675), Francis Thompson (1681), Robert Herbert (1706), Banister Walton (1781), Joseph Buckle (1815), John Hessell (1715), William Cooper (1743), Thomas Hessell (1863), William Adamson (1806), Hannah Adamson (1810), Robert Atlay (1813), Sarah Atlay (1833), Elizabeth Brewer (1818), William Winder (1719), Ann Burton (1720), William Ashton (1722), Francis Winder (1729), John Winder (1747), John Hardy (1759), Thomas Green (1811), Marshall Cook (1731), John Cook (1774), Margaret Jackson (1833), Matthew Johnson (1849), William Boswell (1865), William Massey (1865), burial certificates for George Brewer (1843), Richard Halliday (1853), Ann Triffitt (1848) and Mary Hawkins (1847) and papers relating to their estates, certificates of births, deaths and marriages of the Batty family of Fulford 1812-57 and the notice to the vicar and churchwardens of Skipwith relating to the 1712 bequest of Dorothy Wilson.
Estate papers in U DDFA continue for: Stillingfleet (1648-1907) including eighteenth-century rentals and manorial records (including a call roll 1775-1778 and a court roll 1756-1768), the 1898 scheme of the church commissioners for the administration of St Peter's School, York, and related education papers, the marriage settlement of Robert Cave and Catherine Perkins (1799) and the wills of John Wastell (1787) and Roger Mainwaring (1784); Sutton on Derwent (1690-1729) including the marriage settlement of William and Elizabeth Tate (1690) and Matthew Tate and Elizabeth Johnson (1722); West Cottingwith (1692-1889) including a petition to Lord Wenlock of 1889.
The section in U DDFA for Wheldrake (1596-1889) is rich in wills and in detail is as follows: the 1596 letters patent granting the manor to Edward Howard, rentals 1839-59, an account book of farm wages 1862-7, the 1872 income and outlay of Wheldrake School, the wills of John Gibson (1704), William Gibson (1721), John Harrison (1733), William Dalston (1681), William Rames (1683), William Walker (1722), Silvester Walker (1753), William Cowper (1816), William Harrison (1815), William Plummer (1752), William Tate (1747), Philip Holmes (1814), Robert Bell (1722), John Rames (1776), Jane Clark (1795), John Fowler (1744), John Fowler (1759), William Thompson (1799), Thomas Reaston (1810), Thomas Reaston (1835), William Walker (1800), Silvester Walker (1829) (also certificates of baptisms, marriages and burials in the Walker family 1828-60), the enclosure act of 1769 and related papers and surveys including a copy of the terrier of the rectory in 1809 and the marriage settlement of William Tate and Anne Rames (1702).
Estate papers in U DDFA continue with: Wilberfoss (1713); various townships (1616-1919) including a schedule of deeds for Escrick, Deighton and other places 1387-1727, and a portfolio of papers relating to the Ouse and Derwent Drainage Commission 1856-64. Other counties represented are Bedfordshire (1864-1865) being papers about Luton parish church and letters about the restoration of the Wenlock chapel; Dorsetshire (1872) being papers related to the will of the Marquis of Westminster; Hampshire (1600-1601); Lincolnshire (1794-1798); Nottinghamshire (1673-1753) being manorial records for Bole including a 1673 rental, a 1704 steward's account and agreement and a 1753 survey; Shropshire (1544-1901) including title papers of the Lawley family including the will of Robert Lawley (1772) and papers related to the Craven Hall estate, the marriage settlements of Thomas Bartlam and Alice Harries (1637) and Robert Lawley and Jane Thompson (1764), some plans of estates and farms for example at Spoon Hill and Monk Hopton, a valuation of the estate of Lord Wenlock in 1882, the Bourton estate rental, cash and labour ledgers 1881-1901, papers about the Much Wenlock and Severn Junction Railway and a bundle of papers about primary schools in Wenlock Borough; Staffordshire (1617-1805) including a 1762 plan of a house to be built at Canal Gate, a diary and labour account book for Ganwell 1772-6, an 1805 schedule of the title deeds to the Ganwell estates of Lord Wenlock and a 1730 inventory of goods and furniture at Ganwell Hall, Suffolk (1647-1714); Suffolk and Essex (1647-1714) being a bundle related to the sale of the manor of Hooe and including the marriage settlements of William Harvey and Dorothy Dicer (1695) and Edmond Anderson and Mary Harvey (1712); Surrey (1770-1862) including a copy of the will of Henry Talbot (1770), Thomas Cornwall (1784), Elizabeth Cornwall (1796); Westmorland (1604) being a petition to the crown by John Tenant related to the Free Grammar School at Scotton; Yorkshire, North Riding (1662-1912) including the will of Margaret Prince (1747) and papers related to property at Helmsley and Marton; Yorkshire, West Riding (1570-1918) including papers related to Micklethwaite Grange in the parish of Collingham and papers of the Elizabeth and William Jackson of Bishopthorpe 1707-79; York (1549-1825). In addition, there are two items for Ireland (1659, 1705) including a 1659 deed of Viscountess Valentia.
DDFA2 has estate papers as follows: Deighton (1616-1805); Escrick (1581-19th century) including the marriage settlements of Edward Dalby and Elizabeth Parkinson (1621), Thomas Shipton and Althea Hartas (1688), Matthew Blyth and Catherine Tindall (1657); Gate Fulford and Naburn (1764-1771) including papers of the Ughtred and Tanckerd families; Kexby (1564-1771); Riccall (1600-1832) including the marriage settlement of Gilbert Parker and Ann Oddy (1714); Settrington (1827); Skipwith (1786); Wheldrake (1722-1918); Buckinghamshire (1630); Cambridgeshire (1765); Leicestershire (1676); Lincolnshire (1739); Norfolk (1652); Nottinghamshire (1584-1827); Shropshire (1625-1786); Staffordshire and Warwickshire (1617-1750) including the marriage settlement of William Peshell and Francis Aston (1632); York (1610-1665); Yorkshire, North Riding (1123-1704); Yorkshire, West Riding (1578-1655) including the marriage settlement of Thomas Illingworth and Grace Pollard (1590); various townships (1637-1846) including the will of Richard Roundell (1718) and the marriage settlement of Richard Roundell and Elizabeth Ramsden (1710) and some eighteenth-century papers about the estates of Sir Darcy Dawes and Lady Dawes.
U DDFA2 also contains bonds and statutes (1586-1815); commissions (1665-1734); correspondence (1730-1904) being just six family and estate letters; settlements (1649-1777) including the marriage settlements of Symon Benet and Grace Morewood (1649) (settling the manor and mansion house of Beachampton DDFA2/24/1) and Thomas Eadon and Ann Ward (1777); various documents (1571-1781) and wills (1744-1828) being those of John Fowler (1744), Bridget Colton (1745), Mary Robins (1749), John Fowler (1759), George Fowler (1802) and Francis Riddell (1828).
U DDFA3 comprises the correspondence of Caroline, Lady Wenlock (1822-1860) including letters from North America; the Reverend Stephen Lawley (1857-1901) being letters about family and local affairs; James Stuart Wortley and his wife, Jane Lawley (1845-1868) being about family and local affairs; Elizabeth, Lady Wenlock (1855-1895) including letters from North America, Canada, India and Europe; Constance, Lady Wenlock (1871-1930) including letters from India, Australasia, Europe, Canada and North America; Irene Lawley/Forbes-Adam (1900-1956) including a large number from her mother, Constance, Lady Wenlock, and dozens from young men on war service 1914-1918 (see below for further details about this family correspondence); 'various letters' (1771-1962) particularly correspondence of the family of Caroline, Lady Wenlock including her father Lord Braybrooke; individual letters (1724-1915) including some letters of Lady Dawes and some of Richard Thompson, commandant of the Ouse and Derwent Volunteer Infantry.
U DDFA3 also contains 114 miscellaneous items (1665-1945) and these include a monthly return in 1805 by Richard Thompson for the Ouse and Derwent Volunteer Infantry and related papers, a watercolour of the library at Escrick Park by Jane Lawley circa 1840, papers about death duties, some First World War material including an almanac, trench maps and memorial service cards, photographs, the transcript of a novel and some papers relating to life in Bombay.
U DDFA4 contains largely estate papers, settlements and wills as follows: Acaster Malbis (1582-1903) including papers of the Swailes family, an original bundle related to the sale of the manor by Sarah Dawes to Charles, Lord Fairfax, the will of Henry Thackray (1767) and the sale of farms in lots in 1899; Kexby (1908) being a tenancy agreement; Naburn (1850) being about the merger of tithes; Riccall (1908-1916) being conveyances; Skipwith (1840-1910) including a bundle of papers related to the sale of the manor in 1898, a bundle of leases and mortgages relating to the Toulson family and the release of the mortgage in 1899; Wheldrake (1562-1796) including the wills of Sylvester Walker (1681), William Clarke (1694), Robert Yeoman (1707), William Walker (1722), William Store (1746), Sylvester Walker (1753), Ann Walker (1756), Thomasine Webb (1770), Richard Swan (1770), William Walker (1783) and William Walker (1788) and the marriage settlements of William Walker and Sarah Bovill (1689) and William Walker and Mary Williamson (1796); London (1884-1895); Marton cum Moxby (1760-1822); 'various townships' (1820-1824); accounts (1898-1912) being the trust account book of the settled estates of Beilby Lord Wenlock; settlements (1739-1912) including the marriage settlements of John Doughty and Mary Fearby (1739) and Beilby Lawley and Elizabeth Grosvenor (1846); various deeds (1854-1909) including the estate death duties on Elizabeth, Dowager Lady Wenlock and an original bundle relating to the Derwent Valley Light Railway Fund; wills (1792-1849) being those of Sarah Thompson (copy; 1765), Robert Lawley (1792), Beilby Thompson (1794), Richard Thompson (1816), Robert, Lord Wenlock (1825), Paul Beilby (1845) and Francis Lawley (1849).
U DDFA5 is a large deposit of estate papers and a small amount of related correspondence as follows: Escrick (1848-1951) including a volume of accounts for the building of Escrick rectory in 1848, the minute book of the Escrick Rabbit Clearance Society 1962-1971 and an original bundle of papers related to the Escrick War Memorial fund; Kexby (1865-1908) being bank books and correspondence about the repair of Kexby church; Naburn (1911); Riccall (1843-1929) including an 1843 tithe rent and papers related to enclosure; manor of Riccall with Newbald and Cawthorpe (1621-1742, 1898-1934) including the 1649 survey of the manor for the parliamentary commissioners with related papers; Skipwith (1904-1936); Stillingfleet (1756); Wheldrake (1838-1912) including a valuation of the glebe belonging to the rectory in 1838 and the 1912 rental agreement with the Derwent Valley Light Railway; manor of Wheldrake (1877-1934) being largely nineteenth-century manorial records; 'various townships' (1914-1930) being notebooks about sales of a number of family estates including Kexby and Acaster Malbis.
U DDFA5 estate papers continue with accounts and vouchers for Beilby Thompson (1785-1837); Paul Beilby, 1st Lord Wenlock (1852-1853) being accounts related to his will; Beilby Richard, 2nd Lord Wenlock (1901-1911) being accounts related to his will; Beilby, 3rd Lord Wenlock (1900-1917) including accounts related to his will and some household accounts and correspondence; general estate accounts (1877-1988); summary estate accounts (1886-1954); printed and audited accounts (1930-1958); including for several farms; farm accounts (1911-1982); labour accounts (1794-1799, 1906-1983) including labourers' wage accounts 1794-1799; timber accounts (1809-1966); mortgages (1950-1964); taxation accounts (1917-1960); land tax (1910-1931); miscellaneous (1893-1932); vouchers (1938-1978) especially for farm accounts; correspondence (1864-1898) including letters about commissions and a packet of letters about Mrs Eleanor Law and child.
U DDFA5 also contains a large amount of estate correspondence and subject files comprising letter books (1894-1919); letters received (1905-1915); subject correspondence files (mainly twentieth century) including the Wheldrake glebe purchase of 1903, Naburn Ferry, the servants' ball of 1902, enclosure awards, school subscriptions and related education matters, the Kexby benefice, Skipwith Hall Institute and School, York and Ainsty Hunt, National War Savings Committee, various estate farms, Derwent Valley Light Railway, Escrick Church fire and rebuilding, Escrick Park Dairy, Skipwith rectorial tithes, Selby Sugar Company, Ouse and Derwent drainage; general correspondence (1935-1967) in alphabetical files; farms (twentieth century) for Deighton, Escrick, Kelfield, Little Skipwith, Riccall, Skipwith, Stillingfleet and Wheldrake.
U DDFA5 also contains miscellaneous files (1920-1930) including material on schools and drainage, some official family correspondence and material on Skipwith property and the Wheldrake Ings, correspondence about St Margaret's School 1946-1972, as well as papers on farming 1947-1950 such as livestock and grain production and an original bundle relating to the War Department and Air Ministry 1941-1947; Escrick Park Flats Co. Ltd. (1929-1939); Escrick Park Laundry Co. Ltd. being the directors' minute book 1950-1971; rentals, surveys and valuations (1871-1974) including very complete runs of rentals for Escrick, Deighton, Riccall, Stillingfleet, Wheldrake, Acaster Malbis, Kexby and Skipwith, surveys which include cropping details 1886-1920 and valuations of many estate farms; tenancy agreements (1887-1988) for Deighton, Escrick, Kelfield, Riccall, Skipwith, Stillingfleet, West Cottingwith, Wheldrake and Wheldrake Ings, with some shooting agreements 1887-1931; settlements (1950-1957); River Dee estates in Flintshire and Cheshire (1873-1888) including some parliamentary legislation; Rudding Park estate, West Riding (1927-1928); miscellaneous (1839-1980) including excursions to Escrick Park, sale catalogues, inventories, the estate interview book 1914-1960 and drainage and building papers; maps and plans (1884-1947).
U DDFA6 is a small deposit of additional estate papers for: Acaster Malbis (1898-1959); manor of Acaster Malbis (1846) being a list of pains; Bilbrough, North Riding (1943) being a sale plan; Deighton (1982) being the particulars of sale of Primrose farm; Escrick (1960s-1984) being sales and valuations; Naburn (1917) being particulars of sale of Naburn Hill farm; Riccall (1918-1982) being sale particulars; Skipwith (1967-1980) being the sale of Bells Cottage and Pear Tree House; Stillingfleet (1978) being the sale of the Grange; Wheldrake (1948-1979) including the 1948 sale of the estate; Reading, Berkshire (1970s) being sale particulars; various places (1914-1984) including the 1914 sale of the Kexby estate, the 1978 sale of the Thicket Priory estate (not owned), as well as the sale of farms in Escrick, Deighton, Riccall and other places; miscellaneous (1950s-1970s) including a report on the Derwent Valley Light Railway.