Papers of the Langdale Family (Incorporating Stourton and Harford) of Houghton Hall and Holme-on-Spalding-Moor

Scope and Content

The Langdale family papers arrived in two separate deposits from two lines of the family, catalogued as U DDLA and DDHA. U DDLA relates mainly to the estates centred on Houghton Hall and Sancton. U DDLA contains within it the papers of Henry Grattan (1746-1820), the Irish nationalist MP, and his family; Colonel Dennis O'Kelly (1784-1830) of Irish horse-racing fame; James Scarlett (d.1798) and Eliza Virgo Scarlett (d.1821) owners of estates in Jamaica. In addition to these families the Langdale family papers have scattered throughout them estate and miscellaneous papers of the Constable family of the East Riding.

U DDLA comprises largely estate papers under the following headings: Barmby on the Moor (1489, 1680) surrenders and admissions in the manor court; Beverley (1761-1832) including 1832 election material of Charles Langdale and an anti-slavery pamphlet of the same year; Broomfleet (1620-1655) including a decree in Chancery of 1655 and the marriage settlement of Abraham Sunderland and Elizabeth Langdale (1620); Driffield (1833) comprising the rules of the Angler's Club; Drypool (1769); Duffield (1578-1599) including estate papers of Robert Constable of Flamburgh; Ellerby (1577-1700) including the marriage settlements of William Langdale and Ursula Stapleton (n.d.), William Langdale and Frances Percy (1653) and Walter Vavasour and Jane Crosland (1676); Everingham (1765) comprising the inclosure act; Goodmanham (1663-1697); Hayton (1620); Holme on Spalding Moor (1703-1890) including the inclosure act of 1773; Houghton (1702-1928) including eighteenth century manorial records, a survey of circa 1800, an abstract of the title of the Langdales to tithes 1706-1820, papers about the Roman Catholic chapel at Houghton Hall and papal sanctioning of images and an article on Houghton Hall from the 'Hull Times' 1928; Kirkham Abbey (1815-1824) including printed material about the abbey; Langtoft (1548); Market Weighton (1696-1853) including the inclosure act of 1773, rules of the Market Weighton Friendly Society for 1829, manorial records, the protest of the vicar in 1863 about bell-ringing during a Roman Catholic wedding at the Langdale chapel, pedigrees and papers related to the Shield, Blackburn and Ellah families, 15 letters to Philip Langdale 1806-7 and the wills of John Shawforth (1789), James Clingand (1793), John Hornby (1795), Henry Edwards (1799), Elizabeth Smith (1823), Robert Leeson (1824), Thomas Barker (1680), John Barker (1728), Robert Shields (1819), Craven Boyes (1833), William Blackburn (1778), John Routledge (1810), William Blackburn (1813), Thomas Breighton (1799), Henry Edwards (1799), William Ellah (1821) and John Edwards (1803); Market Weighton canal and drainage (1722-1910) including reports, cases, acts, plans and photographs; Molescroft (1342-1672) including quite a number of medieval title documents; North Cliffe (1543-1795) including the wills of Elizabeth Lowther (1758) and Priscilla Lowther (1760); North Dalton (1301-1634) including medieval title documents for the de la Pole, Hungate and Ledlady families, papers about the purchase of the manor by Marmaduke Langdale in the 1630s and the wills of Audrey Hungate (1570) who left property to her seven children and an even larger number of godchildren, five of whom were also called Audrey; North Dalton manor (1471-1633) including fifteenth century court rolls and other manorial records of the early seventeenth century; Pocklington (1827) comprising material on the Association for the Prosecution of Felons; Sancton (1601-1885) including leases and receipts, the rental for 1672-86, inclosure bill and act 1768-9, an early nineteenth century plan of the estate of John Broadley, correspondence and other papers about tithes in the 1830s, the marriage settlements of John Broadley and Anne Elizabeth Osborne (1809) and William Battle and Rebecca Hearn (1758) and the wills of James Carr (1776), Thomas Broadley (1783), Elizabeth Broadley (1819), Thomas Carr (1775), James Marshall (1838) and William Carr (1805); Sancton manor (1663-1685) comprising manorial records especially jury verdicts; Sandhill parish of Kilpin (1926) comprising historical notes by E P Scholfield; Skirlaugh (1657); South Cliffe (1530-1844) including assessments of acre tax 1772, papers about tithes and the wills of Jane Vavasour (1730; codicil) and William Pennyman (1763); South Cliffe manor (1766-1790) comprising call rolls and jury verdicts; Thorngumbald (1553); Wallingfen (1777) comprising the inclosure bill. Estate papers for other counties include some for Cumberland, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Norfolk (including an original bundle of papers relating to West Rudham), Shropshire, Worcestershire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Estate papers for Ireland have come especially through the Grattan family and include papers about the site of the friary of Stradbally, some leases and the institution of Richard Marley, dean of Ferns to the rectory of Loghill in 1772.

Other papers in U DDLA fall into the following sections: various deeds (mid-13th century-1919) including a list of the commissioners for the commission of sewers in 1664 and commissions of Henry Grattan Langdale and Philip Langdale; various townships (1346-1869) including extracts of the wills of Robert Carlisle Broadley (1808) and Thomas Broadley (1818); accounts and vouchers (1677-1915) including early cash books and rentals, farm account books and workmen's account books; maps, plans and inclosure awards (1771-1936). Settlements (1515-1852) include Thomas Constable's provision for his wife and daughters in 1415 'for his dying beyond the sea or ransoming' and the marriage settlements of Philip Langdale and Dorothy Crosland (1678), Marmaduke Langdale and Anne Howard (1702), Jordan Langdale and Dorothy Walmsley (1715), Jordan Langdale and Mary Stourton (1721), Whitfield Harvey and Frances Tracey (1802), Charles Langdale and Charlotte Mary Clifford (1817), Charles Langdale and Mary Constable Maxwell (1821), Philip Langdale and Elizabeth Acton (1775). Wills in the collection (1556-1894) are those of William Carr (1557), William Kirkby (1558), Marmaduke Langdale (1609; extract only), Walter Vavasour (1696), Jane Vavasour (1730), James Stourton (1780), George Allanson Winn (1787), Richard Acton (1790), John Turner (1791), Catherine Constable (1803), Philip Langdale (1805), Edward Marmaduke Vavasour (1846), Charles Langdale (1868), Charles Langdale (1894). Miscellaneous material in the collection (1710-1939) includes geneaological papers, a copy of verses 'found in the Queens Toylett' (c.1710) warning of a repeat of 1641, sewerage plans, material about the persecution of and relief of Roman Catholics (including an envelope containing a posy of pansies presented to William Langdale by Pope Pius IX), an essay on water colour painting with some originals by J H Clark (1812), the 1813 annual report of the Liverpool Benevolent Society of St Patrick, two 1829 travel journals of a continental tour, a memorandum about the customs and rules at Houghton in 1860 and a book containing the rules of the servants' daily routines, an inventory of silvery plate of Charles Langdale in 1868, an 1888 servants' wages book, calculations of sums needed for building a workhouse, a book containing a ghost story by Mrs Langdale and a newspaper cutting about the removal of the statue of William III from the Market Place in Hull to Houghton Hall in 1939 at the start of the second world war.

The correspondence in U DDLA (1812-1937) is of particular interest for a study of Catholic affairs. A letter of 1812 addressed to P W Hervey from a member of the Prince Regent's household touches upon Catholic affairs and the letters and papers of Charles Langdale and his son Charles Joseph Langdale are largely taken up with subjects like convents, the Catholic chapel at Houghton and Catholic worship more generally in England. There are some letters about the estate of Edward Vavasour and letters between Lord Stourton and Thomas Vavasour about a marriage settlement of 1813. Letters to Philip Langdale include topics such as his position as private chamberlain to Pope Pius X.

Grattan family papers at U DDLA/39 comprise about 600 items with span dates of 1669-1886. They comprise largely correspondence and title documents with a few interesting miscellaneous items such as the order of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland concerning £50,000 voted to the purchase of lands settled on Henry Grattan senior in 1782. The title documents cover the Grattan estates at Stradbally and Cuffsborough, Queen's County (1608-1829) and at Garrycross, County Cavan (1751-1851), as well as papers for the Marley family estates including Simonstown and Celbridge Abbey, County Kildare and land in counties Meath, Monaghan and Longford (c.1700-c.1850). Correspondence in U DDLA/39 comprises 15 letters to Henry Grattan (1746-1820) about Irish and political affairs from 1782 to 1808 and a large number of letters to his estate agent and friend Ross McCann. Many of these are from Henry Grattan senior; some are from his sons, James Grattan (b.1783) and Henry Grattan junior (b.1789). Those from Henry Grattan junior are revealing about his father's involvement in politics, especially about Catholic affairs. There are many other letters to Ross McCann (see separate entry for further details). There are a number of personal account books in U DDLA/39 including that of James Grattan 1743-1765 (rents, servants' wages etc.), some accounts of Henry Grattan senior, a bundle relating to the estate of Thomas Marley and a bundle relating to rents and tenancies at Celbridge Abbey. Marriage settlements are those of James Grattan and Mary Marley (1740); Henry Grattan and Henrietta Fitzgerald (1782, 1789); William Leake and Ann Grattan (1803); Patrick Grattan and Grizell Brereton (1669) and Francis Maude and Georgianna Bushe (1849). Wills are those of Henry Grattan junior (1855) and Gervase Parker Bushe (1817).

The O'Kelly family papers at U DDLA/40 comprise circa 290 items with the span dates 1717-1833. There are some personal accounts and titles deeds. Some of the accounts relate to Dennis O'Kelly's interest in race horses, but they also include accounts with his tailor, papers to do with India bonds and a memorandum on the insuring of Lord Belfast, a debtor in the Fleet prison, to outlive his father, the marquis of Donegall, in 1794. The deeds relate to property at Stanmore in Middlesex in the late eighteenth century and include a plan of some of Nathaniel Wright's alterations in 1786. There are also deeds for property in Epsom in Surrey and in Piccadilly and Half Moon Street in London in the late eighteenth century. There are circa 70 letters to Dennis O'Kelly, about race horses, debtors and debts, dated 1785-1820, as well as three more bundles of letters dated 1794-1817 which include correspondents such as Lady Anna Donegall, Earl Moira and Arthur Wellesley. The only marriage settlement in U DDLA/40 is that of John Parkhurst and Richard Dormer (1725). Wills are those of Andrew Dennis O'Kelly himself (1820) and John Parkhurst (1762) and miscellaneous papers include a cure for rheumatism and papers relating to Catholic affairs.

Papers of James and Eliza Virgo Scarlett at U DDLA/41 comprise some 190 items with the span dates 1789-1878. They largely consist of the estate correspondence and accounts of Eliza Virgo Scarlett for sugar plantations in Jamaica and Peru. They contain her letter book 1798-1806, when she was conducting her affairs from England. Letters to her 1798-1817 are largely from solicitors and land stewards and agents. Property papers include lists, valuations and reports on slaves, who are named, with their physical condition and other attributes such as reliability (or lack of it) included. These papers are a valuable source of information about individual slaves and slavery more generally in the West Indies and South America. Other items in U DDLA/41 include: the will of Sarah Gallimore (1806) who left to her three daughters, one of whom was Eliza Virgo Scarlett, named slaves amongst other things; and the will of Eliza Virgo Scarlett (1820).

Deposited by the Rt. Hon. the Countess Fitzwilliam, Houghton Hall, Sancton, York, 1974

Administrative / Biographical History

The papers in U DDLA and U DDHA represent documentation of the unbroken succession of the Houghton and Holme estates in the Langdale and later Stourton/Langdale family. However, although these estates were kept in one family, the family itself was very large, the succession was often complicated and the papers only provide pockets of information on the Langdales themselves before the nineteenth century. Most of the personal papers and correspondence in the two collections date from the nineteenth century after the succession of the Stourton family to the Langdale estates.

The Langdales have lived in the area to the west of Beverley in the East Riding since at least the fourteenth century when Patrick de Langdale married Elena Houghton and inherited through her estates in Houghton and Etton. The family stayed in the area and intermarried particularly with the Constable and Vavasour families, many of whose title documents features in U DDLA and U DDHA. Use of the name Marmaduke entered the Langdale family when Agnes Constable of Everingham married Anthony Langdale; their son married Ann Vavasour of Hazelwood and became lord of the manors of Dowthorp, Lanthrop and Woodhall. This generation remained Catholic after the reformation and their son, Anthony Langdale of Sancton, was forced to flee to Rome and died there in 1577 (Sunderland, Marmaduke Lord Langdale, chpt.1; Allison, History of the county of York East Riding, iv, pp.108, 163).

The estates at Houghton passed down through the senior branch of the Langdale family that started with Anthony Langdale until failure of succession forced their transfer laterally to Peter Langdale (d.1617) and his son Marmaduke Langdale (b.1598). Marmaduke Langdale was knighted by Charles I in 1628 and became a devoted royalist during the civil wars. When Henrietta Maria landed at Bridlington in February 1643 he provided her with an escort and set about raising troops. He went on to become a cavalry commander of some importance, fighting at Marston Moor and Naseby. At the beginning of the second civil war he was sent to Scotland and in 1649 was sent to the defence of the Isle of Man. He spent much of the 1650s abroad and in contact with the exiled Charles II; he was made Lord Langdale in 1658. Copies of letters between him and Edward Hyde during this period are in the collection, as are extracts from his journals and papers that throw light on negotiations with the Scots in the late 1640s (Sunderland, Marmaduke Lord Langdale, passim; Dictionary of National Biography).

Marmaduke Langdale came into possession of family estates and he went to live at Holme on Spalding Moor where he bought land from the crown that had belonged to the Constables before the attainder of Robert Constable for his part in the Pilgrimage of Grace. However, his own losses due to confiscation in the civil wars were so great that it took some time for his descendants to recover. In 1626 he had married Lennox Rodes and by her had seven children, most of whom survived to adulthood. Sadly his wife died an hour after the birth of a child, in 1639. His eldest son, Marmaduke Langdale (b.1627), became governor of Hull and lived at Holme. Marmaduke Langdale died at Holme in 1661 and was buried in Sancton (Sunderland, Marmaduke Lord Langdale, chpt.1; Dictionary of National Biography).

Marmaduke Langdale junior lived until 1703 and his descendants inherited his father's title as well as the estates at Houghton and Holme on Spalding Moor. Holme Hall was restored by his son in 1718 and the present Georgian house at Houghton was built for Philip Langdale in 1765 probably by Thomas Atkinson of York. The family continued to be recusants and a year after Houghton Hall was built a mission was set up at the house for a Catholic priest. The result was that at least one third of the parish was Catholic and by the early nineteenth century the local parish church was in a state of disrepair and the vicar was in a state of anguish. When Marmaduke, 5th Lord Langdale, died in 1778, the title became extinct as he had two daughters. Houghton Hall descended to the senior male of the Langdale family, Philip Langdale, who had married Elizabeth Acton in 1775. However, they had no children and the estates moved back to the descendants of the 5th Lord Langdale through his youngest daughter Mary's marriage to Charles Philip, 17th Lord Stourton (b.1752). Mary became sole heir and on the death of Philip Langdale in 1815, 1000 acres and Houghton Hall passed to her third son, Charles Stourton (b.1787), who changed his name to Langdale (Allison, History of the county of York East Riding, iv, p.163; Pevsner & Neave, York and the East Riding, p.474; Annual report of the York Georgian Society, p.47).

In the year that Charles (Stourton) Langdale inherited Houghton Hall he married Charlotte Mary Clifford whose portion was £6000. She died only three years later and he married Mary Constable Maxwell of Everingham in 1821. They were responsible for expansion of the estates, the extension of Houghton Hall and the building of a Greek-style Roman Catholic chapel beside the house. The architect for this was Joseph Ireland. Charles Langdale was also the biographer of Mrs Fitzherbert, he was a whig MP (for Beverley 1833-4 and Knaresborough 1837-41) and a Catholic activist. His chapel was built slightly in advance of the Catholic Emancipation Bill and in 1823, when he built a Catholic school in Houghton, the attendance at the other local school dropped by half. The collections are rich in material about nineteenth century Catholic affairs and there is a lot of correspondence (Allison, History of the county of York East Riding, iv, p. 163; Dictionary of National Biography; Johnson, 'Houghton Hall', pp.37-8).

Charles (Stourton) Langdale's younger brother, Philip Henry Joseph Stourton (b.1793) succeeded to Holme Hall and was a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for the East Riding of Yorkshire. He was also involved in Catholic affairs at a local level and in 1846 St William's College at Holme on Spalding Moor was built for the training of Roman Catholic schoolmasters. The house and lands at Holme on Spalding Moor passed down through this junior line of the family. Philip Henry Joseph Stourton died in 1860 when he was succeeded by his son, Henry Joseph Stourton (b.1844). His daughter, Amy Mary Josephine Stourton (b.1874) married Frederic Dundas Harford, who was in the diplomatic service, and she became lady of the manors of Holme and Bubwith when her father died in 1896. In the 1920s she sold the estates and Holme Hall was a convent for fifty years before becoming the Sue Ryder home. Her only child, Joan Mary Harford (b.1897), married Sir Alexander Bannerman in 1920. In 1975 Lady Joan Bannerman deposited the (Stourton) Langdale papers in her possession in the Brynmor Jones Library (Pevsner & Neave, York and the East Riding, pp.474, 476; Clay, Extinct and dormant peerages).

Charles (Stourton) Langdale had four sons and two daughters and was succeeded to the family estates at Houghton by his eldest son, Charles Joseph Langdale (b.1822) when he died in 1868. Charles Joseph Langdale inherited Irish estates through his wife, Henrietta Grattan, who was the daughter and co-heir of the Irish nationalist, Henry Grattan, whose family papers are to be found in U DDLA. He and his wife chose to reside in Ireland and they received rents from nearly 4000 acres in the East Riding. They had three sons, Henry Joseph Langdale (b.1853), who inherited the estates after they both died in 1895, Marmaduke Joseph Langdale (1861-1934), who became a Benedictine monk, and Philip Joseph Langdale (1863-1950), who inherited the estates after his older brother died in 1923. In 1926 the Houghton Estate Company was formed, which kept the estates in the family as one of the major shareholders was J Watson (later 3rd Baron Manton) who had married Alathea, youngest daughter of Philip Joseph Langdale. His eldest daughter, Elizabeth Joyce Mary Langdale (b.1898), overhauled the estate after his death in the 1950s. She married Howard Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 2nd Viscount Fitzalan, but the marriage was unhappy and was dissolved in 1956. She then married the 10th Earl Fitzwilliam who died in 1979. She lived to the age of 97, dying on 7 June 1995. She was responsible for depositing the larger of the two groups of Langdale family papers in Hull University Archives in 1974 (Clay, Extinct and dormant peerages; Allison, History of the county of York East Riding, iv, p.163; Johnson, 'Houghton Hall', p.38; obit. 'The Times', 17 June 1995).


U DDLA/1 Barmby on the Moor, 1479 - 1687

U DDLA/2 Beverley, 1761 - 1832

U DDLA/3 Broomfleet, 1620 - 1655

U DDLA/4 Driffield, 1833

U DDLA/5 Drypool, 1769

U DDLA/6 Duffield, 1578 - 1599

U DDLA/7 Ellerby, 1577 - 1700

U DDLA/8 Everingham, 1765

U DDLA/9 Goodmanham, 1663 - 1697

U DDLA/10 Hayton, 1620

U DDLA/11 Holme on Spalding Moor, 1703 - 1890

U DDLA/12 Houghton, 1677 - 1928

U DDLA/13 Kirkham Abbey, 1815 - 1824

U DDLA/14 Langtoft, 1548

U DDLA/15 Market Weighton, 1680 - 1863

U DDLA/16 Market Weighton Canal and Drainage, 1772 - 1910

U DDLA/17 Molescroft, 13th cent. - 1672

U DDLA/18 North Cliffe, 1543 - 1795

U DDLA/19 North Dalton, early 14th cent. - 1635

U DDLA/20 North Dalton, Manor of, 1471 - 1633

U DDLA/21 Pocklington, 1827

U DDLA/22 Sancton, 1601 - 1881

U DDLA/23 Sancton, Manor of, 1663 - 1685

U DDLA/24 Sandhall par. Kilpin, 1926

U DDLA/25 Skirlaugh, 1657

U DDLA/26 South Cliffe, 1530 - 19th cent.

U DDLA/27 South Cliffe, Manor of, 1766 - 1790

U DDLA/28 Thorngumbald, 1553

U DDLA/29 Wallingfen, 1777

U DDLA/30 Other Counties, 1437 - 1809

U DDLA/31 Ireland, 1608 - 1862

U DDLA/32 Various Deeds, mid 13th cent. - 1919

U DDLA/33 Various Townships, 1346 - 1869

U DDLA/34 Accounts and Vouchers, 1677 - 1915

U DDLA/35 Correspondence, 1812 - 1937

U DDLA/36 Settlements, 1415 - 1852

U DDLA/37 Wills, 1556 - 1894

U DDLA/38 Miscellaneous, 1611 - 1939

U DDLA/39 Gratton family, 1609 - 1866

U DDLA/40 Col. Dennis O'Kelly, 1717 - 1833

U DDLA/41 Scarlett family, 1789 - 1878

U DDLA/42 Maps, Plans and Inclosure Awards, 1771 - 1936

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Deposited by the Rt. Hon. Countess Fitzwilliam, in 1974

Related Material

Other papers of the same family, focusing on Holme Hall and Holme-on-Spalding-Moor are at U DDHA

From the Papers of Crust Todd and Mills Solicitors [U DDCV15/26; U DDCV/209/22]

From the Papers of the Bishop Burton Estates of the Gee and Hall-Watt Families [U DDGE/3/34]

Other repositories:

Papers of the Vavasour family, baronets of Hazlewood, West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds

Egerton MSS 2534-5, British Library Department of Manuscripts

MSS Top. Yorks, Eng.Hist, C283-90, misc.c.275, 341, misc.d.289-90, misc.e.252-4, poet.c.25, th.c.59, French.e.21, Lat.misc.c.67, Lat.misc.d.75, th.c.18, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford


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