Papers of the Chaworth Musters family of Annesley Park and Colwick Hall, Nottinghamshire, 1538-2004

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The earliest original item in the collection is a contemporary copy of a Letters Patent of Henry VIII to William Bolles, of the reversion of the Rectory of Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, dated 1538. The collection lacks some of the essential elements of a full estate archive (there is for instance no series of deeds), and includes very little material from before the joining of the Chaworth and Musters estates by the marriage of John Musters with Mary Ann Chaworth in 1805.

The vast majority of the documents are estate papers from the 19th century, referring to the Chaworth-Musters properties at Annesley, Felley, Colwick, Sneinton, Carlton, Wiverton, Tithby, Cropwell Butler, Edwalton and West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire. These comprise a relatively small part of what would have been the full archive for the estate. There are for instance no records of title except for a single conveyance to John Chaworth Musters dated 1877. A number of 19th and early-20th century plans of the estates are present, together with surveys, valuations, inventories, sale catalogues, rentals, accounts and disbursements, of similar date. One of the account books details John Chaworth Musters' expenditure on hounds at kennels at Wiverton. A small series of testamentary papers includes draft wills of John Musters (d 1849) and John Chaworth Musters (d 1877). The only family settlement present is a late-17th century draft settlement of the estates of Patricius, 3rd Viscount Chaworth.

Family papers include grants of arms, dated 1683 and 1806, and a photographic copy of an ornate bound pedigree of the family dating back to 1581. Three mid-19th century travel diaries record journeys in Italy, Spain and the Middle East, and one journal contains notes of a clergyman's charitable visits in Annesley and Kirkby-in-Ashfield in the 1850s.

Among the few printed papers and ephemera present are a copy of an account of the sacking of Colwick Hall in 1831, and a Bill for raising money in compensation. There is also a copy of a verbatim report of the trial of Lord Byron for the murder of William Chaworth in a duel in 1765. An account book of the Overseer of the Poor for the parish of Tithby, Nottinghamshire, 1756-1806, is a stray which must once have formed part of the parish collection.

There is a substantial series of family correspondence dating back to 1825. Part consists of 19th-century letters sent to various members of the Hamond family. The letters were given to the Chaworth-Musters family at Annesley by Fanny Hamond in June 1900. Further sections relate to the Lowe/Sherbrooke family. The majority of the correspondence consists of letters home from Patrick, Jack, Anthony, Phil, Bob and Douglas Chaworth-Musters, on active service in the First World War.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Chaworth family, descendents of the Chaources family of Maine in northern France, came to Britain at the time of the Norman Conquest. Robert de Chaworth settled in Nottinghamshire and married the daughter of William de Walchiville, lord of Marnham, in the time of Henry I (1100-1135). Advantageous marriage alliances extended the family's properties in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Edwalton and Alfreton were acquired through the 13th-century marriage of William de Chaworth and Alice de Alfreton.In the next century the manor of Wiverton was acquired through the marriage of William de Chaworth (born c.1351) with Alice, daughter of Sir John de Caltoft of East Bridgford. Annesley Hall and its estate were brought into the family by the marriage in 1440 of Sir George Chaworth with Alice, only daughter of John Annesley, whose ancestors had lived at Annesley for over 300 years.

The Chaworth estates eventually passed to George Chaworth (died 1639), who was created Viscount Chaworth in 1628. The viscountcy became extinct on the death of Patricius, the 3rd Viscount, in 1694. The viscount's grandson William Chaworth (1726-1765) was killed in a duel with his cousin and neighbour, Lord Byron of Newstead Abbey (great-uncle of the poet). William was unmarried and left his estates in his will to his first cousin William Chaworth (died 1771). They then passed to the duellist's uncle Captain William Chaworth, of the Royal Navy, who lived at Annesley until his death in 1784, and then to Captain Chaworth's younger son George Chaworth (died 1791).

George's only daughter Mary Ann Chaworth (1786-1832) was the heiress to the Chaworth estates in Annesley, Edwalton and Wiverton, and the first love of Lord Byron, the poet. In 1805 she married John ('Jack') Musters (1777-1849) of Colwick Hall near Nottingham, who inherited the Musters estates at Colwick, West Bridgford and Sneinton in 1827. Jack took the surname Chaworth, but reverted to Musters in 1823. On 10 October 1831 Colwick Hall was sacked by rioters, enraged at the failure of the Second Reform Bill.

Jack and Mary Ann Musters' eldest son, John George Chaworth Musters (1807-1842), predeceased his father. He had married Emily Hamond (1818-1845), youngest daughter of Philip Hamond of Westacre, Norfolk. Two of his sisters married Emily's brothers: Mary Ann (1806-1900) married the eldest brother Anthony Hamond, and Sophia Caroline (1811-1894) married Robert Nicholas Hamond.

John George and Emily's three children were orphaned in 1845. Their uncle Philip Hamond, formerly in the Royal Navy, became their guardian, and their uncle Robert Nicholas Hamond the receiver of the rents during the minority of John Chaworth Musters (1838-1887), who inherited the estates from his grandfather in 1849. John married Caroline Anne ('Lina'), eldest daughter of Henry Porter Sherbrooke, formerly Lowe, of Oxton Hall, Nottinghamshire, and was succeeded by his son John Patricius Chaworth-Musters (1860-1921), who in 1888 obtained licence to take the surname Chaworth jointly with Musters.

John Patricius (known as Patrick) and his wife Mary Anne, née Sharpe, had seven sons and four daughters, the eldest of whom were born in Norway. The eldest son, George Patricius Chaworth-Musters (1888-1915), died of wounds received in action, as did the fourth son Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters (1895-1917). The fifth son Robert Chaworth-Musters (1896-1918) died of pneumonia at the end of the First World War. Their youngest son James (1901-1948) was a zoologist.

John Patricius was succeeded by his second son, John Neville Chaworth-Musters, DSO, OBE (1890-1970), who sold Wiverton Hall (Colwick having been sold in 1896), leaving Annesley as the main estate. As John Neville's elder son was killed in action in the Second World War, the Annesley estate was inherited in 1970 by his younger son Robert Patricius Chaworth-Musters (1923-1992), known as 'Major Bob'. Robert Chaworth-Musters sold Annesley Hall and Park in 1973 and moved to nearby Felley Priory.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged by document type and subject. Within bundles, items are normally arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

Typescript catalogue, 221pp.

On the World Wide Web:

Online catalogue accessible from the Manuscripts and Special Collections website.

Family and Estate Resource relating to the Chaworth-Musters family and their records, published on the Manuscripts and Special Collections website.

Conditions Governing Use

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

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 mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk).

Custodial History

The main body of the collection was transferred to the University library in 1992. The 'Hamond letters' were received in 1994, and further accruals have since been added.

Related Material

Letters from Mrs Ann Chaworth, widow of Patricius Chaworth of Annesley, to Mrs Anne Molyneux, 1747-1757. (Mol 100-130)

Norfolk Record Office: personal and family correspondence and papers of the Hamond and Chaworth Musters families, 19th century, in the Hamond of Westacre collection. (HMN5/95-99, 216-236)

Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland: Journal of Mary Ann Packe, née Chaworth-Musters, 1867-73. (DE3969/8)

The National Archives, Kew: title deeds and legal papers relating to the Annesley estate, produced in the case Chaworth v. Bettison (1790-1799) (C111/82)