Sergeant Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection draws primarily on 16th-20th century Co. Durham and Northumberland sources relating to the following families: Charlton, Hair, Park, Ridley, Sergeant, Shepherd and Stephenson. There is also information about the Brault, Coombes, Martin and Young families in India in the late 19th century and first part of the 20th century, including a few references to the Indian nursing and medical services.

Administrative / Biographical History

The collection was compiled by Mr. C.J. Sergeant (b.1935) of Easington Village near Peterlee, Co. Durham during the course of his researches into the history of the Ridley and Sergeant families and related families. It consists chiefly of his transcripts and photocopies of a range of 16th-20th century Co. Durham and Northumberland manuscript and printed sources relating to these families.


The material in the collection is arranged in three groups:

  • 1. Six volumes (numbered 2, 4-6, 8-9) of transcripts made by C.J. Sergeant of references from a range of 16th-20th century County Durham and Northumberland sources relating chiefly to the Charlton, Hair, Park, Ridley, Sergeant, Shepherd and Stephenson families but also including mention of some other north-eastern families.
  • 2. Four folders of photocopies of: (folder 1, items 1-94) press cuttings and other printed items, 1824-1986 but chiefly 20th century; and (folders 2-4, items 95-265, 277-282 [nos. 266-276 not used]) letters, papers, deeds and a few photographs, 1871-1986 but chiefly 20th century, and also including (items 280-282) pedigrees of the Hair family 1680-1900, the Park family 1695-1935 and the Thompson family of Mickley, Northumberland 1710-1812. The contents of the folders had been arranged and numbered by C.J. Sergeant before their deposit in Durham.
  • 3. Four printed items:
    • H[avergal], M[aria] V.G., Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal (London, James Nisbet & Co. Ltd., n.d. [ca.1880], viii + 392 pp. + frontispiece).
    • The poetical works of Frances Ridley Havergal , with a preface by Maria V.G. Havergal (London, James Nisbet & Co. Ltd., n.d., xxiv + 854 pp. [pp. i-iv missing]).
    • Ridley, Annie E., A backward glance. The story of John Ridley a pioneer (London, James Clarke & Co., 1904, viii + 446 pp.). At p.i is a manuscript note by C.J. Sergeant relating to Annie E. Ridley and John Ridley.
    • Sergeant, Christopher John, Memsahib to martyr. Mum's memorabilia of the British in India (privately published, 1986, 32 pp.).

Conditions Governing Access

Two envelopes of material are closed until the depositor authorises access to them. The remaining items in the collection are available for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Mr. C.J. Sergeant with the Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic of the University of Durham (from 1990 part of the Archives and Special Collections department of Durham University Library) on 1 July 1987, 22 February 1988 and 28 March 1988.

Other Finding Aids

The only catalogues to the collection are the following manuscript lists which were compiled by C.J. Sergeant and accompanied the collection when it was deposited in Durham:

Summary index of family and place names and of sources mentioned in the six volumes in group 1 above, arranged in two lists, one for Co. Durham and one for Northumberland, 3 pp.

Numerical schedules of the contents of the four folders in group 2 above, 7 pp.

Index to the surnames mentioned in the press cuttings etc. contained in the first of the folders in group 2 above (items 1-94), 1 p.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History