The family and estate papers of the Bosville-Macdonald family arrived in the Brynmor Jones Library in four separate deposits. By far the largest, DDBM, came via the East Riding Record Office in 1974, and three small deposits followed on 3 September 1985, 18 February 1986 and 6 January 1987. The papers remain the property of Sir Ian Macdonald of Sleat. The Bosville-Macdonald family owned lands in the West Riding centred on Gunthwaite and in the East Riding centred on Thorpe, near Scarborough and the estate papers for both Ridings are catalogued together alphabetically. They contain medieval charters, manorial records and title deeds, many of which have been printed in T Walter Hall, Land charters and court rolls from the Bosville collection (1930). Sections containing early material that is in print have been marked.
DDBM/1-21 contain estate papers as follows: Barnsley (1344-1350, 1455-1460, 1638); Brandesburton (1719-late 18th century); Burton Fleming (1612-1774); Cawthorne (1326-1334, 1599, 1776) including papers of the de Hertford family; Caythorpe (1800-1831), sale documents; Darfield (1541-1750); Gunthwaite (1406-1735) including the 1406 gift of William de Bosville and five 1690 plans for the house that Godfrey Bosville intended to build; Helmsley (1664), a 21 year lease of the castle granted to William Watson by the duke of Buckingham; Hessle (1364); Hoyland Swain (1549-1575); Langsett (1367, 1814); Mappleton (early 13th century); Meltham (1621); Midhope (1553-1726) including a 1553 manor court roll, the transfer document of the manor to Godfrey Bosville in 1690 and a 1631 copy of the grant of the manor in 1270; Oxspring (1549-1747) including manorial records and court rolls for 1549 and 1575; Penistone (1557-1819), largely material related to the church, churchwardens and overseers of the poor and to the Free Grammar School as well as the 1819 enclosure bill; Roughbirchwood (1618, 1719); Seaton Ross (1742); Thorpe and Rudston (1557-1874) including the appointment of a gamekeeper in 1831 and an 1874 plan of the Spring Dales estate; Tanshelf (1662); Worsborough (1565, 1690).
DDBM also contains sections of estate papers for other counties, though these are not quite alphabetically ordered. Other estate papers are as follows: a deed to declare the uses of the manor, town and lordship of Burton in Cheshire from John, bishop of Lichfield (1716); Derbyshire (1570); Essex (copy of a pre-1140 grant of the tithe of Islip); Lancashire (18th century plan of the duke of Bridgewater's `curious weir' in Castle Field near Manchester); Leicestershire (1622, 1654); Staffordshire (1491-early 20th century), material largely relating to Eccleshall from an early gift to some twentieth-century postcards with papers of the Pershall family who were connected by marriage (the marriage settlement of Richard Bosville and Elizabeth Pershall is at DDBM34/5).
Also in DDBM are the papers of the descendants of Ralph Bosville, clerk of the court of wards (and younger brother of Godfrey Bosville of Gunthwaite), who settled in Bradborne (parish of Sevenoaks) in Kent in the sixteenth century. A junior branch of this family also settled at Eynsford and the Kent estate papers include settlements and deeds for these properties (1604-1702).
When the male line of the Bosville family ran out in 1813, the Bosville estates passed to Elizabeth Diana Bosville and her husband, Alexander Macdonald, with the result that DDBM also contains some Scottish papers of the Macdonald family (earlier Macdonald estate papers, diaries and correspondence are in the Scottish Record Office). The Scottish papers in the Brynmor Jones span the dates 1596-1933. They include the 1782 manuscript of D Macqueen's Enquiry into the chieftanship of Macdonald; the 1799 report of John Blackadder into the estate at Skye; an album containing copies of the correspondence between the 3rd Lord Macdonald (Godfrey Macdonald 1775-1832) and Alexander Macdonnell over their respective descent to chieftanship of the clan and addresses of welcome to Alexander Bosville-Macdonald in 1911 on his taking up residence in the Isle of Skye.
Other sections in DDBM are: various townships (1433-1830) including an 1809 survey of the estates of William Bosville and the 1830 sale of Penistone; various deeds (1548-1814); accounts and vouchers (1579-1832), household and personal account books including the pay account of Colonel Godfrey Bosvile's regiment of foot for the committee of safety for Warwickshire 1642 to 1645 and the clothing accounts of Captain and Mrs Bosville 1645 to 1654; bonds (1546-1747).
Settlements in DDBM (1559-1788) include the following marriage settlements: Francis Bosville and Dorothy Copley (1586); Richard Bosville and Elizabeth Pershall (1649); Henry Hall and Sarah Norton (1680); Thomas Hassell and Anne Elwick (1745); Thomas Place and Mary Bosville (1755); William Ward and Julia Bosville (1780); John Sinclair and Diana Macdonald (1788).
Wills in DDBM are as follows: Henry Bosville (1582); Thomas Hattersley (1603); John Haigh (1645); Edmund Rogers (1647); William Watson (1672); Thomas Hassell (1692); Thomas Wood (1695); William Bosville (1696); Thomas Hattersley (1699); Henry Bosville (1701); Thomas Hattersley (1711); Thomas Pershall (1713); Margaret Stanhope (1721, 1725); Francis Mosley (1727); William Blackett (1728); Catherine Osbaldeston (1733); Jane Gray (1735); Thomas Hassell (1737); Anne Hassell (1740); Samuel Hassell (1741); Thomas Brown (1743); Samuel Hassell (1744); Thomas Wentworth (1747); William Talbot (1749); Thomas Watson (1751); Thomas Hassell (1757); Henry Bosville (1761); Thomas Watson (1764); Thomas Hassell (1770); Godfrey Bosville (1780); Thomas Blackett (1790); William Bosville (1807).
DDBM is a collection rich in correspondence, the bulk of it being the correspondence of Godfrey Bosville (d.1714) and his wife Bridget Hotham (d.1708); Godfrey Bosville (d.1784) and his wife Diana Wentworth; Godfrey Macdonald (d.1832) and Alexander William Macdonald (Bosville) (d.1847). Other correspondence of interest include letters of the Pershall and Hassell families who were related by marriage; some eighteenth-century love letters to Diana Bosville (b.1754); two letters to Godfrey Bosville (1596-1658) and a letter dated 1783 to Captain Thomas Bosville about the will of Annabel Wentworth who left an endowment for a childrens' hospital in Nice.
The miscellaneous section of DDBM contains genealogical material including an illuminated pedigree of 1586, an illuminated certificate of Ralph Bosville by the antiquarian and historian, William Camden, and a 1916 tree showing the descent of the families of Macdonald of Sleat and the Isles; a 1650 petition to parliament against sequestration by Thomas Bosville; a 1670 petition by Sarah Babington about her losses during the Irish Rebellion of 1641; an eighteenth-century edition of memoirs of the Bosville family (`a mere fragment' of the original which is missing; Macdonald, The fortunes of a family, pp.2-3); lists of sheriffs of Yorkshire 1649-1710; a 1730 inventory of Lady Osbaldeston's plate; the 1720s cellar book of Godfrey Bosville; a 1731 document simply entitled `Directions about Miss Bosvile'; the elaborate 1768 acounts for Lady Macdonald's wedding; the instructions c.1780 of Godfrey Bosville that his body should be used for medical research after his death (he also wanted to avoid being buried alive; Macdonald, The fortunes of a family, p. 176); horse racing programmes 1814-1831 and a copy of T Walter Hall's Land charters and court rolls from the Bosville collection (1930).
DDBM(2) is a very small collection of 49 letters (1807-1832 including a 1958 covering letter) and the 1914 motoring diary of Godfrey Macdonald (d.1951). The letters are nearly all supplemental correspondence of Godfrey Macdonald (d. 1832) and his wife Louisa Maria (d.1835) including 27 letters to Louisa Maria sent while her husband was on active service during the Napoleonic wars.
DDBM(3) consists solely of the 1939 commission of Alexander Somerled Angus Bosville-Macdonald and DDBM(4) comprises about 30 press cutting and 3 letters relating to the death and funeral of Sir Alexander Macdonald of the Isles and two articles on Thorpe Hall from 1922 and 1923.