Dunn-Gardner Family of Chatteris and Fordham: Papers

Scope and Content

Manorial, local administrative, business, estate, and personal papers.

[1-5] Manorial

[1] Soham & Fordham: (1-7) Court books, 1623-1740; (8-13) Surveys, 1614-1841, including (8) Fordham, survey by Gerard Bromley, 1614; (9) Schedule...Division of...Commons of Soham, 1665; (14) Court rolls and extracts; (15-17) Quitrentals, 1845-62; (18-21) Papers.

[2] Netherhall Wygorne: (1-3) Surveys, 1814-39; (4) Rental, 1862.

[3] Fordham Biggen: (1-4) Court books, 1693-1791; (5-7) Rentals, 1845-62; (8) List of copyhold tenants; (9-10) Papers, c.1700.

[4] Great Isleham with Bernards Beck (Beckhall, Newhall and Uphall in Isleham): (1-3) Copyhold tenants, c.1834-51; (4) Quitrental, 1862; (5) Description of lands in Freckenham allotted in Inclosure Act, declared to be copyhold of the manor, 1824.

[5] Chatteris Ramsey: (1-4) Court books and rolls, 1720-1830; (5-21) Rentals, 1742-91; (22-23) Accounts, 1784-1802; (24-29) Papers, including letters and receipts of Samuel Tarry, Virginia, 1745-1860.

[6-13] Local Administration

[6] Chatteris Tithes: (1-9) Papers, leases and agreements, 1635-1818.

[7] Isle of Ely and Parish Administration: (1) Minute books, Land Tax Commissioners, Witchford Hundred, 1786-1803; (2-3) Chatteris court leet book (1781-1803), notices of meetings, adjournments, lists of jurors (1800-04), votes for parish officials, verdicts, 1798-1810; (4) Isle of Ely Court of Requests...Chatteris minute book, 1785-92; (5) Security and defence of realm: minute book, Witchford Hundred, 1803; (6) Chatteris freeholders, poll-book for Cambridgeshire election, 1780, Huntingdonshire freeholders resident in Chatteris, 1780; (7) Common right holders in Chatteris, 1801, for Inclosure; (8) Chatteris freeholders, c.1823.

[8] Chatteris Poor, Poor Common and Town Lands: (1-8,11-13) Treasurer's accounts, 1695-1773; (9) Nomination of new feoffees, 1773; (10) Minutes and resolutions, Committee of common land owners, to regulate commons and waste, 1773-74; (14) Account of commonable messuages of Chatteris, 1768-91; (15) Trustees of Town Land, 1787; (16) Notebook, occupiers, ploughed commons allotted, 1793.

[9] Poor Law: (1-3) Removal orders, 1701; (4-5) Presentments, 1702-11; (6) Obligation bond, Vicar of Chatteris and churchwardens, 1750; (7) Visitation reply to 19th question, on legacies to charity in Chatteris, 1775; (8) Release from bastardy bond, 1776; (9) Account of charitable donations, Chatteris, under trustees' management, 1786; (10) Receipts, accounts and lists of jurors, 1734-1809; (11) Persons relieved with trust money, 1804-09; (12) Poor Law Union: valuation list, Chatteris, North Witchford Union, 1863-69; (13) Soham assessment for...1710 [Poor Law].

[10] Inclosure: (1) Inclosure award, Fordham, 1809; (2-3) Particulars and reference to a plan of Soham, 1841-44.

[11] High Sheriff: Papers and Accounts: (1-6) John Gardner, Sheriff of Cambridge and Huntingdon, 1796: pipe roll, accounts, bills, receipts, and appointment of Christopher Pemberton as Under-Sheriff; (7) Letters, Christopher Pemberton to William Dunn-Gardner, 1807, application to be Under-Sheriff; (8) John Dunn-Gardner, Sheriff of Cambridge and Huntingdon, 1859.

[12] Quarter Sessions: (1-2) Orders, Wisbech Quarter Sessions, 1799-1816, recipients of 11 Acts of Parliament for use of magistrates; levying a public rate in Isle of Ely; (3) Appeal to J.P.s of North Witchford Hundred, 1846, against refusal to grant liquor licence to Thomas Anderson of the 'Weary Man', March.

[13] Legal Formularies: (1) Justice of the Peace: probably for Robert Grimditch of Chatteris, 1760-90, many original papers, printed forms with MS entries; (2) Solicitor: compiled by William Dunn, c.1777, conveyances, agreements, releases, etc.; (3) Solicitor: copyhold lands, procedure and precedents in court-holding, c.1780; (4) Solicitor: legal cases, questions and opinions, c.1780; (5) Examples of affidavit and petition.

[14-17] Business

[14] Business Records of William Dunn(-Gardner), attorney, Chatteris: (1-7) Account books, daily ledgers and debt books, 1780-1824.

[15] Robert Grimditch, attorney, Chatteris: executorship: (1) letters on Barway estate, debts due to Pembroke College, Cambridge, 1785-92, including Benjamin Parke (1790) and Henry Cooper (1792); (2) Grimditch, probate inventory, 1792; (3-4) Purchase of Grimditch's freehold and copyhold lands, 1792; (5-7) Bequests to Sarah Moule by will of Grimditch, 1790, other executorship papers, 1792-93.

[16] Charles Pickfat: Management of his estate, Langmans and Byall Fen and Manea: (1) Letters, John Gardner to Pickfat, 1774-81; (2) Accounts of Gardner with Pickfat or his executor, 1764-92; (3-5) Letters, agreements and receipts, 1766-1809.

[17] Management bills and accounts: (1) Accounts between John Gardner and Mary Blunt for managing her land in Chatteris, 1739-61 and 1791-1805; (2) Accounts, John Gardner and Peter Worsley, 1742-58.

[18-24] Estate

[18] Deeds: (1-11) Conveyances and leases, at Chatteris, Doddington, Forty Foot Bank, Ramsey Upwell, March, Fordham, and Soham, 1622-1837.

[19] Rentals: (1-2) Rentals of John Gardner's estate, 1772-1802.

[20] Agreements: (1) Agreement, William Dunn-Gardner and Blake & Robin, auctioneers, farms at Soham, 1808; (2) 63 agreements, John Gardner and local people, hire of land in Chatteris, 1778-1810.

[21] Maps and surveys: (1) Lands at Wimblington, by John Porter, c.1770; (2) Bishops Lands at Hangwood Fen, Byals Fen Common, by John Pope, 1755; (3-4) Estates in Chatteris and Horselode Fen, property of Major Fryer, by P. Porcher, 1864.

[22] Auction particulars: (1) Soham and Fordham, Soham Mere; Soham, Fordham, and Netherhall Wygorne manors, 1806; (2-16) Estates, farms, shops and advowsons, Chatteris, Exning, Burwell, Newmarket, March, Wimblington, Doddington, Benwick, Elm, Outwell, Emneth, Witcham, Sutton, Fordham, Mepal, Ely Trinity, and St. Mary's, 1844-1901.

[23] Bills and accounts: (1) Bills, receipts and accounts for domestic, estate and building services, 1700-1820, including Horseway Bridge, Chatteris Town House repairs, 1753-73; (2) Land tax assessments for William Dunn-Gardner, 1808.

[24] Late 19th century estate: (1) Farm plans, Soham, Fordham, and Wicken cropping account book, 1850- ; (2-4) Rent roll and books, John Dunn Gardner's estate, 1861 and 1881-92; (5) Weekly reports, works on Soham estate, 1883-88 (6-7) Bills for works on Soham estate, 1888-8; estate letters, 1867-1925.

[25-30] Family

[25] Dunn-Gardner and Townshend papers: (1) 118 letters, 1808-42, between William Dunn-Gardner (for daughter Sarah, Countess of Leicester) and solicitors, to reclaim property vested in Earl of Leicester (later 3rd Marquess Townshend), on marriage; (2-3) Copy deeds, 1723-1818, Leicester's title to some estates; (4) Legal papers, Dunn-Gardner v. Townshend; (5-6,9) 49 letters from Charles Margetts, Huntingdon, solicitor, 36 letters from W.H. Trinder, lawyer, 16 letters, Thomas Fryer to Earl of Leicester, 1840-43, on Townshend legal matters; (7) Letters on Soham Mere estate obtained by William Dunn-Gardner from Lord Townshend, 1808-29; (8) 101 letters from J. Clarendon Smith, Nottinghill, to John Dunn-Gardner and wife, 1860-75, caring for Miss Townshend.

[26] Family, estate, business and personal correspondence: (1) 73 letters to John Gardner and William Dunn-Gardner, 1779-1841, the correspondents including R.W. Alpress (1819), Samuel Austin (1808), F. Bagge (1809), John Bateman (1801), Lord William Bentinck (1826), Mrs M. Blunt (1806), Robert Bovill (1821), J. Bowker (1786), John A. Browne (1815-30), Charles Cholmondeley (1809), Catherine Dunn (1834), J.C. Dunn (1833), Hugh R. Evans (1816), Nathan E. Garrick (1809-11), Robert Herring (1804), Bury Hutchinson (1807), John Ingle (1804), Thomas Jarman (1831), Earl of Leicester to H.R. Evans (1839), William Loftus (1808), Thomas Mills (1810-13), J. Pennington (1810), Algernon Peyton (1826), Lawrence Reynolds (1804), H. Roper (1810), Lord Sandwich (1807), John Seton (1792), Thomas Sewell (1804-10), John Wayman (1807-25), James Wells (1815), John Westwood (1807), J. Whiston (1795), Thomas Wilkin (1814), and William Wright (1779); (2) 39 letters, William Dunn-Gardner to his wife, Jane, 1806-11 and 1822-29.

[27] Family Accounts: (1) Solicitors' accounts, William and Jane Dunn Gardner, 1816-36; (2-3) Bank statements and accounts, 1769-1839.

[28] Wills: (1-5) Administration of Susan Marriot of Chatteris, 1674, wills of John Marriot, 1758, Ann Leach of Mepal, 1810-20, William Dunn-Gardner, 1827-31, and Jane Dunn-Gardner, 1810-37.

[29] Heraldry and monuments: (1) Inscription on memorial to John Gardner (d.1767, aged 11); (2) Letters from Ralph Bigland (Norroy King of Arms) and others on pedigree and coat of arms for a tomb, 1804; (3) Stonemason's drawing, inscription on monument to John and Sarah Gardner, Chatteris church, 1805; (4) Address to William Dunn-Gardner from Fordham inhabitants, 1865, for restoring north porch of church; (5) Arms of John Dunn-Gardner, c.1843.

[30] Ely Cathedral: (1) Letters and accounts, John Dunn-Gardner's new reredos and altar screen, Ely Cathedral, carved by Rattee & Kett, 1853-56; (2-3) Bills and receipts: William Field (statuary), John Birnie Philip (sculptor), James Rattee, Charles Castell (decorator), and Octavius Hudson (Chester), 1854-59; (4) Octavius Hudson, 8 letters, accounts, payment for colouring of reredos; Sir Gilbert Scott's certificate of completion of work.

[31-32] Miscellanea

[31] Suffolk: (1-47) Papers, Great Thurlow estate, Suffolk, 1807-26.

[32] Other: (1) Receipts, 1680-82, Vicar of Chatteris, modus of tithes of Honey; (2) Obligation bonds, 1685-1700; (3) Terriers, Gardner's land, 1748-71; (5) Accounts, Bezling Mill, Chatteris 1750-57.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Gardners lived at Chatteris House for many generations. John Gardner (1697-1768) and his son John (d.1804) both married heiresses, and acquired land and manorial rights in Chatteris. John's daughter and heir Jane (d.1839) married William Dunn of Chatteris, who assumed the name Dunn-Gardner in 1804. The Dunns were attorneys and businessmen. Their daughter and heir Sarah (1786-1859) married George, Earl of Leicester, in 1807, who succeeded as 3rd Marquess Townshend in 1811. Sarah left Lord Leicester in 1808 and 'married' John Margetts (d.1842) of St. Ives, Hunts., by whom she had a large family. She later styled herself Marchioness Townshend. Her eldest surviving son, John Margetts (1811-1903), called himself Townshend (1823-43) and Earl of Leicester (1828-43), and inherited the Chatteris estate in 1839 on the death of his grandmother Jane. Having been declared by Act of Parliament not to be a son of Marquess Townshend, he called himself Dunn-Gardner from 1843. His brother William Dunn-Gardner (1813-80) inherited the Fordham Abbey estates.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1989.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue. A full catalogue is also available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds Chatteris Ramsey court rolls and manorial documents, 1639-1925, presented by Mrs. Leader, Lady of the Manor of Chatteris, 1939, Doc.1986-3605. The Library also holds Cecil Dunn-Gardner's library catalogue, MS.Add.9332.

Geographical Names