Tatton of Wythenshawe Muniments

Scope and Content

A collection of medieval charters, deeds, leases, estate papers and correspondence of the Tatton family of Wythenshawe, Cheshire. Documents relate chiefly to lands in Cheshire, particularly to Wythenshawe, Northenden, Northen Etchells and Stockport Etchells in Stockport parish, and to Macclesfield, with smaller numbers concerning Aldford, Altrincham, Bowdon, Bredbury, Godley, Great Warford, Hale, Kenworthy, Knutsford, Pownall Fee, Romiley and Werneth, and a handful bearing on properties in Derbyshire, Flintshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire. In addition there are seventeenth-century letters and personal papers of the Tatton family, which include invaluable material relating to the Civil War in Cheshire. Robert Tatton (1606-1669) was a staunch royalist, who withstood a siege by parliamentary forces for three months in 1642-3.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Tattons are one of the oldest families in Cheshire, and their estates have the distinction of being one of the very few in the extensive hundred of Macclesfield which remained in the same family from as early as the fourteenth century to the present century. Wythenshawe itself was granted to Robert de Tatton in 1370 following his marriage to Alice, daughter and heiress of William de Massey. The Tattons held property in Wythenshawe, Northenden and Etchells in Stockport parish, and in Macclesfield, as well as Altrincham, High Legh, Knutsford, Bowdon, Bredbury and Romiley. Robert Tatton (1606-1669) was a staunch royalist during the Civil War, who sustained a siege against parliamentary forces.

The Tatton family were related to another important gentry family in the area, the Egertons, following the marriage of William Tatton (1703-1776) to Hester Egerton, daughter of John Egerton of Tatton in 1747 (she was his second wife). Their son, William (1749-1806), assumed the surname and arms of Egerton of Tatton. He employed Lewis Wyatt to extend the original Elizabethan Hall in the 1790s, with the construction of a library on the ground floor. He was four times married, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Wilbraham Egerton (1781-1856), who took possession of the Egerton estates, while the Wythenshawe property passed to his second son, Thomas William Egerton (1783-1827). On succeeding to this estate, Thomas assumed the surname Tatton. Thomas Egerton Tatton was married to Emma, daughter of the Hon. John Grey, the third son of Harry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford, of Dunham Massey. In 1926 their great-grandson, Robert Henry Grenville Tatton (1883-1962), sold Wythenshawe Hall and 250 acres of surrounding land to Ernest Simon and his wife Shena, who donated it to Manchester Corporation (Manchester Guardian, 13 April 1926, p. 13). The Hall was opened to the public in May 1930 (op. cit., 29 May 1930, p. 13). In 1926, after several years of discussion and despite the opposition of some ratepayers and other local authorities, the Corporation purchased the Wythenshawe Estate for working-class housing, at a cost of over £200,000 (op. cit., 22 October 1926, p. 13). In 1931 a private Act of Parliament incorporated the area into the city.


The system of arrangement devised by Robert Fawtier when first cataloguing the collection has been adherred to. The documents are numbered consecutively, TW/1-1500.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

The archive was donated to the John Rylands Library by Colonel Robert Henry Grenville Tatton in 1953; he had originally deposited the material at the Library in 1925. Subsequent accessions were made in 1960 and 1962.

TW/1499-1500 were deposited in the John Rylands Library by Colonel R.H.G. Tatton personally on 28 February 1949.

Other Finding Aids

The original typescript handlist was produced by Robert Fawtier (as far as TW/1178) and Frank Taylor (TW/1179-1500).

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Related Material

The Library also holds part of the Egerton of Tatton muniments (ref.: GB 133 EGT).


The charters were communicated by T.W. Tatton, esq., to J.P. Earwaker, for his East Cheshire: past and present (London, 1877), 2 vols (see vol. 1, p. xxv).

The charters concerning Great Warford were communicated (in transcript, so it seems) by T.W. Tatton, esq., to Thomas Helsby, editor of the revised edition of George Ormerod's History of the county palatine and city of Chester (London, 1882), 3 vols (see vol. 3, p. 584).