Estate and Legal Papers of the Willoughby Family of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire, Middleton, Warwickshire, and Birdsall, Yorkshire; 1609-1965

Scope and Content

The collection is comprised chiefly of estate papers and deeds relating to the family's estates in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire from the 18th to the 20th century. There is a run of correspondence with Lord Middleton's solicitors regarding the settlement of the estates (1926-1928), and the subsequent founding of the Birdsall Estates Company. In some of these series, the records complement those already catalogued in Mi 3.There is also a series of letters to Digby Wentworth Bayard Willoughby, 9th Lord Middleton and Eliza his wife; Godfrey Ernest Percival Willoughby, 10th Lord Middleton and Ida his wife; and Michael Guy Percival Willoughby, 11th Lord Middleton. These letters include a large number from the children of the 10th Lord and Lady Middleton, including Francis George Godfrey Willoughby and Henry Ernest Digby Hugh Willoughby who were both killed during the First World War.

Administrative / Biographical History

This sub-group brings together legal and personal papers of the Willoughby family which have come from different sources, reflecting the fact that it represents a number of different accruals to the overall Middleton Collection. Estate material was generated both at Birdsall, Yorkshire, and through the activities of the London solicitors. Papers from these sources comprise the greater part of the collection. In addition, personal correspondence received by the family between 1890 and the 1940s is present. The writers are occasionally other family members, but many letters are from friends and general acquaintances and some concern official activities.


The collection is arranged according to provenance and form of material (e.g. correspondence, estate papers) and listed chronologically within sections.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers. Access to some series of personal papers from the 20th century is restricted.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham. In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:Typescript Catalogue, 67 pp At the National Register of Archives, London:Typescript Catalogue, 105 pp On the World Wide Web:Catalogue available from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.Access to the typescript catalogues also available online on the national A2A (Access to Archives) website.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial History

The papers were acquired in several separate accruals between 1964 and 1974.

Related Material

See also the fonds entry for the entire Middleton Collection (Mi); and items in the other parts of the collection (Mi1, MiAX, Mi2 and Mi4)